Crazy Cock

Overview

In 1930 Henry Miller moved from New York to Paris, leaving behind — at least temporarily — his tempestuous marriage to June Smith and a novel that had sprung from his anguish over her love affair with a mysterious woman named Jean Kronski. Begun in 1927, Crazy Cock is the story of Tony Bring, a struggling writer whose bourgeois inclinations collide with the disordered bohemianism of his much-beloved wife, Hildred, particularly when her lover, Vanya, comes to live with them in their already cramped Greenwich ...

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Crazy Cock

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Overview

In 1930 Henry Miller moved from New York to Paris, leaving behind — at least temporarily — his tempestuous marriage to June Smith and a novel that had sprung from his anguish over her love affair with a mysterious woman named Jean Kronski. Begun in 1927, Crazy Cock is the story of Tony Bring, a struggling writer whose bourgeois inclinations collide with the disordered bohemianism of his much-beloved wife, Hildred, particularly when her lover, Vanya, comes to live with them in their already cramped Greenwich Village apartment. In a world swirling with violence, sex, and passion, the three struggle with their desires, inching ever nearer to insanity, each unable to break away from this dangerous and consuming love triangle.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Written between 1928 and 1930 but never before published, Miller's autobiographical novel describing his rage over his second wife's live-in lesbian lover is an awkward performance. Aspiring writer Tony Bring, depicted as a sensitive soul in a rotten world, is a misogynistic bully. Morbid enchantress Hildred, modeled on Miller's unbalanced wife, June Mansfield Smith, comes off as a pseudo-bohemian. Her lover, painter-poet Vanya based on Jean Kronski, with an invented past as a bastard Romanoff princess, cuts a pathetic figure. The trio lives in a frescoed basement apartment in Brooklyn and cavorts in Greenwich Village. Vicious anti-Semitic remarks and references reflect the obsession that preoccupied Miller Tropic of Capricorn until after WW II; his homophobia is also offensive. Despite the verbal power of many passages, this novel remains mawkish, its overheated hand-me-down surrealism, purple prose and self-conscious decadence prefiguring the adolescent egomania of much of Miller's later work. Oct.
Library Journal
Written in the late 1920s but lost until 1960, Crazy Cock was the immediate predecessor to 1934's Tropic of Cancer LJ 6/15/61, Miller's first published work. This earlier autobiographical novel explores a wrenching three-way relationship involving writer Tony Bring, his wife Hildred, and her bohemian lover Vanya. By this point in his career Miller had begun to sense that conventional narrative was not his forte, but had not yet embraced the subjective, seemingly chaotic approach that would liberate his language. Crazy Cock has its moments of soaring rhetoric, but its primary value is to document the development of the most original American writer of his generation. For collections where Miller is read or studied.--Grove Koger, Boise P.L., Id.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802132932
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Miller, Henry
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 202
  • Sales rank: 1,401,257
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.71 (d)

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