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Henry Miller and the Surrealist Discourse of Excess: A Post-Structuralist Reading
     

Henry Miller and the Surrealist Discourse of Excess: A Post-Structuralist Reading

by 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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
«Through a combination of knowledgeable comparisons with surrealism and theoretically informed close readings of texts, Paul Jahshan has helped us to appreciate once again – but in different ways – the importance of Henry Miller.» (Douglas Tallack, Professor of American Studies, University of Nottingham, UK)
Booknews
Jahshan (American studies, Notre Dame U., Lebanon) contends that ranting passages in American writer Miller's (1891-1981) work have been quietly ignored, mostly attributed to biographical factors, or dismissed as either buffoonish or mere surreal exercises. He finds in those exemplar texts the dynamics of an excessive image that, though it uses techniques mainly attributed to French surrealism, yet creates a style peculiar to itself. He does not index his treatise. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820452845
Publisher:
Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
Publication date:
07/13/2001
Series:
Modern American Literature Series: New Approaches , #29
Pages:
214
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

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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