One of the most original literary voices of his generation, Henry Miller is definitely one of my fave American writers. Seminal books like Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Sexus, Plexus and Nexus still stand the test of time – which in my book is the most important, and rarest, quality a work of art can possibly possess.
That said, this post isn’t about Miller the writer. Rather, it’s about one of his fixations – and I’m not referring to threesomes (see Anaïs Nin and June Miller), or coital activity in general. It’s inspired by another great Flavorwire list – this one about writers and their obsessions. I wrote about writers and their addictions not long ago, so consider this part two in my Dark Night of the Authors’ Psyche series. Something like that.
As it turns out, Miller was obsessed, as the title and image above give away, with, of all things, UFOs. Flavorwire points us to this piece that explains his rather esoteric interest, as well as Miller’s own sighting when he was living in Big Sur. It’s a rather detailed little article that gives us a lot of juicy info. about his years on the California coast including excerpts from one of his later works, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch (one of my fave painters).
After you head there, do take a look at the other writers’ obsessions included in the list. Apparently Truman Capote was obsessed with tap dancing (tap dancing?). Flannery O’Connor with peacocks, and the great Patti Smith (whose recent book, Just Kids, I highly recommend) with original Rolling Stone, Brian Jones.
Nothing in the rest of the list is as far-out as a UFO obsession, but again, what else can you expect from a writer who also had a deep interest in cybernetics, dianetics and, as he puts it, the “importance of nonsense.”