Henry Miller's "The Books In My Life"
September 23, 2012 2:13 PM Subscribe
posted by Egg Shen (7 comments total)
11 users marked this as a favorite
They were alive and they spoke to me! That is the simplest and most eloquent way in which I can refer to those authors who have remained with me over the years.
- Henry Miller, The Books In My LifeThere were times when reading [Blaise] Cendrars - and this is something which happens to me rarely - that I put the book down in order to wring my hands with joy or despair, with anguish or with desperation. Cendrars has stopped me in my tracks again and again, just as implacably as a gunman pressing a rod against one's spine. Oh, yes, I am often carried away by exaltation in reading a man's work. But I am alluding now to something other than exaltation. I am talking of a sensation in which all one's emotions are blended and confused. I am talking of knockout blows. Cendrars has knocked me cold. Not once, but a number of times.
Rider Haggard is one of those imaginative writers who undoubtedly fed from many streams. We think of him now as a writer of boys' books, content to let his name fade into oblivion. Perhaps only when our scientific explorers and investigators stumble upon the truths revealed through imagination will we recognize the true stature of such a writer.
[Jean Giono's] poetry is of the imagination and reveals itself just as forcibly in his prose. It is through this function that Giono reveals his power to captivate men and women everywhere, regardless of rank, class, status or pursuit. ... Like our own Faulkner, Giono has created his own private terrestrial domain, a mythical domain far closer to reality than books of history or geography. It is a region over which the stars and planets course with throbbing pulsations. It is a land in which things "happen" to men as aeons ago they happened to the gods. Pan still walks the earth. The soil is saturated with cosmic juices. Events "transpire". Miracles occur. And never does the author betray the figures, the characters, whom he has conjured out of the womb of his rich imagination.