The Colossus of Maroussi

The Colossus of Maroussi

Paperback(Second Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811218573
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 05/18/2010
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 165,640
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

Henry Miller (1891—1980) was one of the most controversial American novelists during his lifetime. His book, The Tropic of Cancer, was banned in the some U.S. states before being overruled by the Supreme Court. New Directions publishes several of his books.

Will Self (b. 1961) is an English novelist and journalist.

Ian S. MacNiven (b. 1938) edited The Durrell-Miller Letters: 1935-1980.

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The Colossus of Maroussi 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
kant1066 on LibraryThing 19 days ago
On the recommendation of his friend and fellow author Lawrence Durrell, Henry Miller set out for Greece in 1939. After a decade of frenzied writing in which both ¿Tropic of Cancer ¿and ¿Tropic of Capricorn¿ were composed, Miller¿s intention was really nothing more than to relax in preparation for a journey to Tibet in which he planned to, in a popular phrase Miller himself would have despised, ¿find himself.¿ ¿Colossus of Maroussi¿ is pure prosopography, which isn¿t of course to say that he does not give flashing insight into the individual lives of others. In fact, the colossus of the title ¿ a Greek poet by the name of George Katsimbalis ¿ has a personality which sometimes threatens to marginalize Miller¿s. We also meet as a minor character the poet George Seferis long before he became the first Greek to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. At one point, while Durrell and Miller are staring up into space, Durrell calls him a Rosicrucian. This is no lie. Not only does Miller have a preternatural affinity for the mystical and transcendent, but the various meditative bits of philosophy and courageously inventive speculative prose that dot the book are beautifully conceived, written in a kind of ecstatic encounter with the holy. Speaking of Rosicrucians¿ ¿Saturn is the symbol of all omens and superstitions, the phony proof of divine entropy, phony because if it were true that the universe is running down Saturn would have melted away long ago. Saturn is as eternal as fear and irresolution, growing more milky, more cloudy, with each compromise, each capitulation. Timid souls cry for Saturn just as children are reputed to cry for Castoria. Saturn gives us only what we ask for, never an ounce extra. Saturn is the white hope of the white race which prattles endlessly about the wonders of nature and spends its time killing off the greatest wonder of all ¿ MAN.¿To call this a travelogue is to tremendously devalue it. While its subject of the putative love of Greece and the Greek people, Miller¿s approach is more reminiscent of Julian of Norwich¿s ¿Revelations of Divine Love¿ or Thomas Merton¿s ¿Seven Storey Mountain.¿ For him, Greece was a religious experience, and all the more precious because it was purely accidental. Miller was a mortal Antaeus whose powers seem like they would have been irrevocably sapped when he was finally compelled to bring himself back to the United States, something he only did because he saw the writing that Hitler was scrawling on the European political wall.
girlsgonechild on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Gorgeous. Read this in Greece and it made the trip. Miller is a genius and everything he writes is magic. Colossus is one of my very favorite Miller books... perfect.
jwhenderson on LibraryThing 19 days ago
The Colossus of Maroussi is a literary memoir about Greece. More than that it is a paean to the idea of Greece as Henry Miller shares some of his life and love of that land and its meaning for him. The incandescent spirit of Miller and Greece is on every page and the joy that creates cannot help but permeate the reader's soul. Miller's descriptive powers are immense and he evokes beautiful sunlit mornings and evenings on the Aegean with ease. For those who already know Greece from the classics it is a reaffirmation of the meaning of the people and their land; for those who do not already know Greece it is an awakening of the spirit. With literary references and reverential treatment of the gods and demigods present everywhere this book takes you an a journey that you do not want to see end. Ever since I read his The Tropic of Cancer I have loved Miller's work. This memoir provides another reason to embrace his literary world.
clothingoptional on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is Henry Miller's best book. In fact, I would go as far as saying this is his only book. I've read a lot of Miller over the years and this was the only book of his where I could tell the subject flowed through him instead of his paddling upstream against the current. It is a book written by a man who was at peace with himself. Too bad he couldn't continue to write this way...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read Miller's book countless times and always feel that I'm traveling in Greece again. His characters are larger than life (particularly Katsimbalis, the 'Colossus' referenced in the title). And really, for non-Greek lovers of Greece that is at the core of our love affair. Experiencing a culture where life is always spelled with a capital 'L'. The only book by Miller that I've ever really enjoyed, his passion for the subject makes up for any shortfalls. One of a very few timeless tributes to an ageless culture!