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O Big Sur e as Laranjas de Jerónimo Bosch
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O Big Sur e as Laranjas de Jerónimo Bosch

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,768 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Henry Miller regressou aos Estados Unidos no início dos anos 40, fixando-se no paradisíaco Big Sur, na costa da Califórnia. O Big Sur e as Laranjas de Jerónimo Bosch é a primeira obra que Miller escreve depois de se ter fixado naquela região. Embora composta de textos distintos retrata na sua maior parte a vida do autor, as suas relações familiares, amizades, e as pessoas ...more
Paperback, 414 pages
Published November 2010 by Editorial Presença (first published 1957)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joseph
Henry Miller is not easy to read. If you intend to grok the jumbled thoughts and messages in Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch, you need to find some sun, quiet, and solitude - and prepare to re-read whole pages if your attention lapses.

This book is fundamentally similar to Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. Both are stream-of-consciousness narratives with the air of a self-eulogy by the author. Both make use of very graphic, descriptive language (although Hemingway uses his rare adjective
...more
Susanna-Cole King
Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch is delicious! At a paragraph in, my veins were already tingling, at a page in, it was a masterpiece. And I’ve already, albeit inwardly, elected him my beloved godfather of literature and magnificent storytelling, his words warm with a sense of home, of comforting familiarity, and all the same, doling out wallops of wisdom and revolutionary thoughts.
Michael William West
The final part makes this a great book - the Devil in Paradise recounting of Henry Miller's relationship with Conrad Moricand, fascinating in itself but also somewhat illuminating as the Miller's own character flaws and hypocrisies. It's a famously savage rendering of a ridiculous French dandy who simply cannot cope in a world which does not revolve around serving his fine sensibilities. It would be easy to see Moricand as a fool, an example of all that was once pathetic and hopeless about the F ...more
Riley
This book, about Henry Miller's life at Big Sur, is a mixed bag. Some of the character sketches are very good, and some are not at all. When Miller wrote about his benefactor Jean Wharton, for instance, I nearly put down the book because of how barf-y and supplicating it was. Miller is always good for a few poignant thoughts though, and consistently does a great job when raking someone over the coals.

Here was one passage I underlined:

"The most difficult thing to adjust to, apparently, is peace a
...more
Christian Layow
I thought this was fabulous. It's not your usual memoir reading. It rambles and diverges and surfs the content of his life in that Henry Miller kind of way. It took him awhile to perfect his style starting with the Tropic of Cancer. At least for me. With all its free association prose and occasional wild sexual language, the Tropic of Cancer can be tough to follow. But by the time he wrote Big Sur he'd made writing seem rather effortless. His thoughts and his pen seem to be one and the same. It' ...more
Chris Woollet
One of my favorite books. This was my introduction to Henry Miller and so far my favorite. By this point in his life he had figured life out so to speak. He understood what is important and how to live a peaceful enjoyable life. A stark contrast from his early yearly of ramble rousing. Perhaps it took just that in his early life along with the misery of city life to bring him to this understanding and appreciation for the "good life" in Big Sur. And when reading this book, I kept finding myself ...more
Allison
For the most part, I skimmed this book, the way you might drop in and out of the rambling soliloquy of a long-winded individual who's sufficiently compelling to hold your interest in parts, but sometimes you just need to come up for air. The exception is the third section, Paradise Lost, which I read more or less in its entirety, since it cast the riveting spell of a train wreck. But then, I'm a sucker for dazzling undertows and Moricand sure fits the bill. Really, this is the section that made ...more
Harish Venkatesan
I hadn't read any Miller before this, but this was a solid introduction to his writing and philosophy. Miller captures all the beauty of California/Big Sur culture (dedicated to ideals of individuality, self-determination, nonconformity, non-materialism, etc... a pure form of the "Beat" ethos, if you will), while making a case for art in one's life. The story, filled with invective against modern American culture, is still entertaining (the characters that live in Big Sur!), and always with an e ...more
Mike
Jan 16, 2008 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like to "beat" off with their reading/writing
Doesn't everyone go through a Beats phrase? Not knocking it, but it really does grab hold a with a few people and the other 99.9% of us get on with our lives. But you can say that about almost anything right? I'm sure there are exceptions to this generalization, but for me, Beats are worthwhile reading at least once, but usually not much more than that. Granted, a lot of it was written to be read out loud more than anything else. But for every passage that is well-written and beautiful there's j ...more
Arthur Hoyle
A tribute and love letter to the remote coastal outpost where Miller settled after his return from Europe. He found there a landscape and community that retained for him the promise of America that he felt had been unfulfilled in much of the country. In addition to portraits of his Big Sur neighbors and descriptions of the area's natural wonders, the book contains an often hilarious account of a disastrous visit from Miller's Swiss born astrologer Conrad Moricand that was also published separate ...more
Jim
Henry Miller, long after Paris, contemplating life, conjuring wisdom, but still asking the big questions. A worthwhile read for Miller fans and one of my favorites.
Joshua Buhs
This is the way The Air-Conditioned should have ended: Miller free, transcendent.

Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch is about where Miller went after he settled in California: to Big Sur, which was a wild, and open area at the time, inhabited by only a few hundred hardy souls. Miller, a city boy all his life, surprisingly took to this new mode of existence, and flourished. The book is a paean to his neighbors, a kiss of to his old life, and—as is usually the case with him—a plea.

As usual
...more
Ametista
28 Aprile 2013
- Oggi un sole carico nel cielo e tu a scoppiarmi nelle vene. -

Big Sur è il luogo in cui Miller ha trascorso parte della sua vita in tranquillità, tra l’incantevole paesaggio delle colline e le scogliere che fermano gli urti del mare contro la terra.
Le prime pagine sono tempestate di personaggio vissuti anch’essi a Big Sur, superate queste pagine per nulla personali si ha modo di leggere di Miller e del rapporto con i figli, Val e Tony, dell’educazione e della sua idea di crescit
...more
Seán
Yes, Big Sur is the feel-good cousin of The Air-Conditioned Nightmare. I haven't read the latter as of yet, only paged through it once or twice vibing on the hate. While TACN is the tart travelogue Miller angrily dashed off after his forced repatriation to the United States, BS, by contrast, is the joyous, years-later homage to the place he ended up.

The book is stitched together from various recollections and false starts and nuggets of previously published work, and were it not for Hank's infam
...more
Vicki
One of my favorite books, full of wisdom of place and people and art. And if you've ever experienced the dramatic beauty of Big Sur-unlike any place on earth that I know of-you'll find this captures some of the mystery of the place.

Two warnings, though: near the beginning, there is a boring section where he seems to endlessly talk about his daily chores: a snooze, skim it and get to the good stuff. Second , the last third of the book is a character study of a friend who turns out to be a pedophi
...more
Leile Brittan
Henry, you old rascal, you finally figured out the whole deal. If this is what it's like to get old, I'm not scared at all. Helluva nice little collection here. Always merry and bright!

You've helped me figure it out, time and time again. Right now I'm in my thirties so I'm kinda on that "Tropic" and "Rosy Crucifixion" mode. But the "Big Sur" stage is something I now look forward to, should I be lucky enough to make my way there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

In my best moments I'm
...more
Lynn
Big Sur is one of my favorite places. I was excited to find this book in a wonderful English-language bookstore in Budapest, but it is a crazy book. I'm not sure I would have managed to finish it were it not for the paucity of books available to me at the time.

Unlike the many books that fade into distant memory within months of reading, this book - a stream-of-consciousness ramble - has stuck with me. He writes about the stories he made up for his kids, his relationship with a neighbor who has
...more
Kay
Nov 16, 2008 Kay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kay by: it made itself available to me
A favorite. I think it may have been the time of year- being trapped in a coffee shop, being called a barista- one who spent all of her tips on the used books- shelved three feet from the tip jar itself- but once again, a favorite.
There is this part- Miller's wife leaves him and takes the children- he is lost. In reading those lines- I first considered my fathers heart. It was the first time it seemed to me a possibility that he might be lonely.
This was big- obviously. And so was big sur- only
...more
Chris Hearn
Not his greatest work. The first 100 or so pages unravel an anti-societal (somewhat Rousseau/Thoureauian) and pro-community philosophy, which I found quite appealing. The last section entails an account of a friend overstaying his welcome and abusing hospitality, which is well done, entertaining, and continued to remind me of someone I know quite well. The two hundred pages in the middle though, I struggled through. About as far from the Rosy Crucifixion as you could get, it's mostly dry charact ...more
Nathan
I found out when I finished this that it was basically Henry Miller writing a book to definitively and finally answer all of the people from all over the world that were constantly writing him letters. He is quite funny and seems like a very generous person, even though he has been highly demonized for writing books that are graphic- some even compare him to Marquis de Sade (sp?). This one was nothing but description of his family life and ruminations on God and nature, etc. Ok, but not emblemat ...more
Spencer Scott
I wrote a sort of review that will be easier to link to than to paste here. The full review can be found here: http://www.passionanduncertainty.com/...

A book loaded with wisdom, introspection, hypocrisy, and vivid, personal anecdotes. Henry Miller comes through as an outstandingly honest human with a warm heart, a deep intelligence, and a searching soul. What I take away from this book is that Miller strives for peace and arguably achieves it by being unashamedly honest with himself and with the
...more
emily
This book about good-neighborliness is finally read, by me. I like this quote, "Those who do more than asked of them are never depleted. Only those who fear to give are weakened by giving. The art of giving is entirely a spiritual affair. In this sense, to give one's all is meaningless, for there is no bottom where true giving is concerned."
Well, I don't think i have lived up to that yet... This book gives one a lot to chew on, which is why it took me years of stop-starts to get through it. But
...more
Ed
Sep 06, 2007 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves passion over form.
I love Henry Miller. Not a disciplined writer, but the gusto with which he approached life is transfered onto the page and is always invigorating. This is possibly the most spiritual of his books. It his him reflecting and being as still as he could be, rather than throwing himself at situations and people. But even when he's still, he is still with the same passion as when he is in motion. Tropic of Capricorn is my favorite book of him in motion (young), this is my favorite book of him being st ...more
Vanessa
Solidifies my love of the "old man musings" genre.

Among other lovely thoughts...

"The great hoax which we are perpetuating every day of our lives is that we are making life easier, more comfortable, more enjoyable, more profitable. We are doing just the contrary. We are making life stale, flat and unprofitable every day in every way. One ugly word covers it all: waste. Our thoughts, our energies, our very lives are being used up to create what is unwise, unnecessary, unhealthy."
Karladarling79
This was the first book of Henry Miller's that I have read (kind of the only one so far), and it made me really appreciate him as a person and as an artist. It is basically written in journal format during the time in his life when he was living in Big Sur (I believe around the time of WWII). Often times I don't care for people's diaristic writing, but Miller is an exception, as is Anais Nin. Reading Henry and June was what finally got me to read anything at all by Henry Miller.
Jason
"Often, when following the trail which meanders over the hills, I pull myself up in an effort to encompass the glory and the grandeur which envelops the whole horizon. Often, when the clouds pile up in the north and the sea is churned with white caps, I say to myself: "This is the California that men dreamed of years ago, this is the Pacific that Balboa looked out on from the Peak of Darien, this is the face of the earth as the Creator intended it to look." "
c lynn
i have no idea if I would love this book again as much as i did once- it was a book that i tried to read probably 7 times and could never get past the first 30 pages and then ond day- one mood- i read the whole thing and fell in love. it started me on a henry- thon- but this autobiography is still my favorite. He's too nasty and harsh for even me in his other books. Maybe he was the sex tarentino of the 60's-but somehow his style misses me now.
Brittany
I could not get into this book. Miller just comes across as a womanizing, pompus ass. I was supposed to read this in a class about writing that looks at writers perspectives on writing. Miller was a poor example in my opinion. He seemed more concerned with name dropping and telling personal tales that fueled his own ego and than actually delivering a good piece of advice or story.
Liz
Though it was quickly approaching a year of reading this book. I finally finished it. Having never read Henry Miller, I often found myself forced to put the book down for long periods of time. Not because it was bad, it just had a strange way of relating to my life at various moments. His ending proved that this indeed was his point, I guess I'm just crazy enough to relate.
wickedfarmgirl
After Colossus of Maroussi this was my second favorite book Miller. If you are looking for a story that begins at point A and ends somewhere around Z (in other words that has a plot), this isn't the book for you. If you love Big Sur, can enjoy the ranting of a man who i believe can weave any experience into a fascinating story then pick up this book.
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Henry Miller sought to reestablish the freedom to live without the conventional restraints of civilization. His books are potpourris of sexual description, quasi-philosophical speculation, reflection on literature and society, surrealistic imaginings, and autobiographical incident.

After living in Paris in the 1930s, he returned to the United States and settled in Big Sur, Calif. Miller's first tw
...more
More about Henry Miller...
Tropic of Cancer Tropic of Capricorn Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1) Black Spring Plexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #2)

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“Surely every one realizes, at some point along the way, that he is capable of living a far better life than the one he has chosen.” 81 likes
“Certainly paradise, whatever, wherever it be, contains flaws. (Paradisical flaws, if you like.) If it did not, it would be incapable of drawing the hearts of men or angels.” 41 likes
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