Wednesday, August 7, 2019

From the Tropics to Clichy: Nympholepsy in Henry Miller's Oeuvre

Like Nabokov, Henry Miller's oeuvre is peppered with nympholepsyFor example:

In Tropic of Capricorn, Miller had an "encounter" with a beautiful sixteen or seventeen-year-old “Jewess”. And Miller got his sixteen-year-old piano student pregnant.

In Tropic of Cancer, Miller wrote about Van Norden, an aspiring writer,  who lured young virgins into his room with his poetry before taking their virginity. 

Also, Fillmore was introduced to a Russian nymphet by his boss who had impregnated the girl's sixteen-year-old friend.

In Sexus, Miller learned that Mona, his young future fiancée “[…] had her hymen broken at the age of fifteen,” for $1,000 by a man who allegedly had a fetish for deflowering young virgins. 

And Dr. Onirifick's jealous wife threatened to report him to the district attorney for being, "[...] after that twelve-year-old niece of his [...]"

In Quiet Days in Clichy, Joey and Carl, both writers, share an apartment Clichy, France. Carl brings home Colette, a fifteen-year-old runaway. 

Carl said, "[...] I brought a girl home with me --- a waif. She can't be more than fourteen. I just gave her a lay. Did you hear me? I hope I didn't knock her up. She's a virgin."

"You men she was," I [Joey] put in.

After Carl introduced Colette to Joey, he opined: "[...] But look a those breasts! Pretty ripe for fourteen, what? She swears she's seventeen, but I don't believe her."

Hiroko Tokuda and Henry Miller

And in another example of art imitating life, in 1967, 76-year-old Miller married Hiroko Tokuda who was 46 years younger than the famous writer. 

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