Henry Miller and the Surrealist Discourse of Excess: A Post-Structuralist Readingby Paul Jahshan
Henry Miller is one of the least stylistically understood modern writers. Having been dubbed a Zen saint and ostracized as a happy pornographer, Miller is now relegated to the museum of literary oddities and his text treated with unjustified indifference. If the influence of French surrealism has been recognized by most critics and readers, it is not without a cost: Miller is safely classified as a «surrealist» writer and most, if not all, of his stylistic peculiarities are thus conveniently disposed of. What Miller’s texts share with those of the French surrealists is an imagery of excess, indeed, but one which is economically and masterfully geared toward a reader whose response(s) help in constructing a peculiarly Millerian version of stylistic deviation. This study focuses on the way this «Millerian text» invites a fresh re-reading of one of America’s leading modern authors.
Meet the Author
The Author: Paul Jahshan is Assistant Professor of American Studies at Notre Dame University in Lebanon. He received his Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, and is currently working on representations of the city in modern and contemporary culture.
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