By Henry Miller
“A ideal expression of Miller’s ethical point of view in addition to one in all his amazing demonstrations of narrative ability. It offers a superb cinematic view of 2 indomitable egotists in lethal conflict.” ―The Nation
The satan in Henry Miller’s giant Sur paradise is Conrad Moricand: “A buddy of his Paris days, who, having been financed and taken over from Europe as an act of mercy by way of Mr. Miller, seems as exacting, sponging, evil, crafty and ungrateful a visitor as are available in modern literature. Mr. Miller has constantly been a amazing author of personality. Conrad Moricand is maybe his masterpiece. . . .A satan in Paradise is the paintings of an exceptional novelist manqué, a novelist who has no stricter feel of shape than the divine author. . . .Fresh and intoxicating, humorous and relocating. . .” ―The occasions Literary Supplement (London)
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Extra resources for A Devil in Paradise
Rarely did he break down, in my presence at least. When he did, when tears got the better of him, it was more than I could bear. It left me speechless and impotent. It was a special kind of anguish he experienced, the anguish of a man who is incapable of understanding why he of all men should be singled out for punishment. He led me to believe, always indirectly, that never had he done his fellow-man an injury with intent and deliberation. On the contrary, he had always tried to be of help. He liked to believe, and I have no doubt he was sincere, that he harbored no evil thoughts, bore no one any ill will.
And Moricand, had he any part in all this scintillating turmoil? I doubt it. He was merely part of the décor, another phenomenon pertinent to the epoch. I can see him still as he then appeared in my mind’s eye. ” shaping his lips. As if saying to himself: “Ouais! Know it all. Heard it before. Forgot it long ago. Ouais! Tu parles! The labyrinth, the chamois with the golden horns, the grail, the argonaut, the kermesse à la Breughel, the wounded groin of Scorpio, the profanation of the host, the Areopagite, translunacy, symbiotic neurosis, and in a wilderness of pebbles a lone katydid.
Only years later did he offer me a glimpse into the nature and origin of this castration which he referred to as lack of faith. It had to do with his boyhood, with the neglect and indifference of his parents, the perverse cruelty of his schoolmasters, one in particular, who had humiliated and tortured him in inhuman fashion. It was an ugly, woeful story, quite enough to account for his loss of morale, his spiritual degradation. As always before a war, there was fever in the air. With the end approaching, everything became distorted, magnified, speeded up.
A Devil in Paradise by Henry Miller