Plexus

Plexus

eBook - 2007
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"When Miller the raconteur is on his own . . . he is incomparable, doing his best, in ribald fashion, to laugh the Victorian Age to extinction." -The New Yorker

"Plexus is the core volume in The Rosy Crucifixion: the volume which has the most complete description of Henry Miller's basic values, beliefs, opinions, judgments, both at the time of his 'Crucifixion' and at the later time when the trilogy was written. Plexus is simply the most marvelous volume of emotion and ideas and visions and nightmares about man and society in the twentieth century-with art as the link perhaps, or as the soul's refuge-that I have read in many a long year. There is absolutely no subject in the world that Henry Miller does not seem to know about, want to talk about, and to evaluate with the deep authority of wisdom. He is probably the most learned of all our American writers, the most open to ideas and feelings, and yes, the most worshipful of all the aspects of life, as well as the most critical literary spokesman of our time." -Maxwell Geismar

"At times uproariously funny . . . may be Miller's masterpiece." -Choice
Publisher: [United States] : Grove/Atlantic, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2007.
ISBN: 1555846955
9781555846954
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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jackseney May 20, 2015

Part Two of Miller's "Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy" goes a bit back in time to more fully account for his years of wandering 1920s New York with his new wife "Mona". He's supposedly "learning to be a writer" in this period, but spends more time obtaining lavish free meals and gabbing with his friends than anything else. He claims that Mona financially supports him in this with her de facto prostitution, and also that he has the support of many people who sing his praises at some length. But he still does insist that on occasion, he suffers the starving artist's fate. It gives whole new meaning to the word "anticlimax," however, when our "literary outlaw," on the very verge of being destroyed by poverty.... simply moves back in with his parents. Villon he ain't. It also gives whole new meaning to "chutzpah" when Miller never misses an opportunity to criticize his mother. Nor is he sympathetic when he whines about his problems with Mona, hardly mentioning the wife and child he abandoned for her (though a segment in which he is wracked by guilt, after seeing his daughter in passing, almost makes up for this). I found a lot of this funny in its own strange way, though. People already tolerant of Miller might find enjoyable segments here, and his admirers need no advice from me. For everyone else, be advised that this rather long book is written more in the meandering style of an undeground novel than one seeking wide publication. Which is not a bad thing, but it's needless to say that some parts will be more readable than others!

l
lukasevansherman
Jan 13, 2014

I agree with dirtbag1, this book is way too long. The central volume of Miller's Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, "Plexus" is both bildungsroman and roman a clef. After reading a few books by Miller, I realize he knows only one thing and that's his own mind and soul, which is all he seems to write about. This is one of those books that seems to have been written without revising or editing and it's easy to get bogged down in it. Followed by "Nexus."

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dirtbag1
Jul 16, 2011

This is 640 pages of pure ramble. It has a certain entertaining quality but is not at all difficult to put down. It certainly reminds me of Kerouac in that it portrays the life of a young person that has yet to come to grips with accepting responsibility for his actions. Work is apparently the unpleasant day to day activity that other people do. The strength lies in the description of his characters and in the breadth of his vocabulary. The inclusion of the dream sequences seems unnecessary and just adds more confusion. His philosophical statement at the end is disjointed from the rest of the book. I wish this was the second of two volumes instead of the second in a trilogy. As difficult as it must be to make a living as a writer it is no less frustrating to read work like this and come to
the conclusion that you've read the work of someone whose reputation is greater than deserved.

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