Comparing Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac Essay examples

3680 Words 15 Pages
Comparing Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac

I. Introduction
It has never been an uncommon thing for one to retreat to nature in an attempt to ‘find one’s self,’ and somewhat cliché these days is the retreat to nature to ‘find God.’ Hundreds of books, essays, seminars, and retreats devote themselves to helping one understand how to find enlightenment and healing through connecting with nature. It is a phenomenon that transcends religious boundaries—everyone, from Buddhists to Christian Mystics to Quakers, seems to think that the key (or, at least, one of the keys) to enlightenment lies in nature. As one may suppose, this is not a new concept. Throughout literary history, there is a distinct trend of authors praising the virtues of nature,
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However, he took no pride in the final result, claiming that "nobody believes; perhaps the real secret lies in making people believe. That the book was inadequate, faulty, bad, terrible, as they said, was only natural. [He] was attempting at the start what a man of genius would have undertaken at the end"(ibid.) In 1923, Miller met and married June Mansfield after divorcing his first wife. While this marriage proved to be faithless, he found in her inspiration. She encouraged him to put his energy into writing, and the “passion and madness” of their marriage further fuelled him (“Henry Miller” 2). Eventually, problems with June drove him to Paris without her (despite the fact that it was funded by her), where he spent many years writing what is now considered to be the opuses of his repertoire (”Henry Miller” 1). While in Paris, he wrote Tropic of Cancer—which is still his most famous work—which, along with Tropic of Capricorn, chronicles his life in Paris. Both books were banned in the United States, “which spawned a thirty year censorship debate that was eventually won by Miller” (”Henry Miller” 1). The publication of these and following works helped perpetuate the image of Miller as a “legendary character, a kind of folk hero, the Paul Bunyan of literature, larger than life as exile, bohemian, and rebel, the great
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