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The Colossus of Maroussi

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The Colossus of Maroussi is an impressionist travelogue by Henry Miller, written in 1939 and first published in 1941 by Colt Press of San Francisco. As an impoverished writer in need of rejuvenation, Miller travelled to Greece at the invitation of his friend, the writer Lawrence Durrell. The text is inspired by the events that occurred. The text is ostensibly a portrait of the Greek writer George Katsimbalis, although some critics have opined that is more of a self-portrait of Miller himself.[1] Miller considered it to be his greatest work.

244 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1941

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About the author

Henry Miller

727 books4,560 followers
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, California. Miller's first two works, Tropic of Cancer (Paris, 1934) and Tropic of Capricorn (Paris, 1939), were denied publication in the U.S. until the early 1960s because of alleged obscenity. The Colossus of Maroussi (1941), a travel book of modern Greece, is considered by some critics his best work. His other writings include the Rosy Crucifixion TrilogySexus (1949), Plexus (1953), and Nexus (1960). In 1976 Norman Mailer edited a selection of Miller's writings, Genius and Lust.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 382 reviews
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books1,340 followers
September 12, 2017
It's the eve of World War II. Dark forces are gathering across Europe, about to tear the continent apart in an unprecedented act of barbarity. Henry Miller travels to Greece, ostensibly to visit a Greek writer but really to reacquaint himself with the humanistic spirit he sees flowing from there--a life-affirming spirit that's the opposite of the impending death everywhere else. Part travelogue, part diatribe, this is a book that's not going to be for everyone. I can certainly understand why some readers will have no patience for passages such as: "It is not enough to overthrow governments, masters, tyrants: one must overthrow his own preconceived ideas of right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust. We must abandon the hard-fought trenches we have dug ourselves into and come out into the open, surrender our arms, our possessions, our rights as individuals, classes, nations, peoples." It's bombastic, to be sure, but it's also a reaction to events, a pained cry of: why can't we just act differently? It's an attempt to imagine a different, better world, and I was sympathetic to it, just as I was sympathetic to Miller's imagining of the Greek spirit he wanted to capture, a spirit that was as much a creature of his own mind as anything else.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
June 19, 2019
The Colossus of Maroussi, Henry Miller
The Colossus of Maroussi is an impressionist travelogue by American writer Henry Miller that was first published in 1941, by Colt Press of San Francisco. Set in pre-war Greece of 1939, it is ostensibly an exploration of the "Colossus" of the title, George Katsimbalis, a poet and raconteur. The work is frequently heralded as Miller's best.
عنوانها: پیکره ماروسی؛ دیدار با کلوسوس؛ مجسمه ی ماروسی؛ تندیس ماروسی؛ نویسنده: هنری میلر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1999 میلادی
عنوان: دیدار با کلوسوس؛ نویسنده: هنری میلر؛ مترجم: غلامرضا خواجه پور؛ تهران، انتشارات فکر روز 1377؛ در 277 ص؛ شابک: 9645838789؛ چاپ دیگر با عنوان: مجسمه ی ماروسی؛ تهران روزگار، 1391 در 272 ص، شابک: 9789643742850؛ موضوع: سیر و سیاحت یا همان جهانگردی؛ و یونان داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م
عنوان: پیکره ماروسی؛ نویسنده: هنری میلر؛ مترجم: مهبد ایرانی طلب؛ آبادان، پرسش، 1384، در 225 ص، شابک: 9646629881؛ چاپ دیگر با عنوان: تندیس ماروسی؛ تهران، نشر قطره، 1397؛ در 286 ص؛ شابک: 9786001199998؛
سفرنامه‌ ی نویسنده به سرزمین یونان است در زمان جنگ جهانی دوم و بازگو کردن مسائلی که در این سفر برای او رخ نموده، مسائل جنگ آن روزگار اروپا و برخورد با افراد مختلف، او که خود از زندگی در آمریکا، شیوه‌ ی زندگی در این کشور و بی‌خانمانی‌‌هایی که بشر مدرن در آنجا به آن‌ها مبتلاست، خسته شده، این کتاب را در قالب سفرنامه و در اصل، «حدیث نف»، نگاشته است. رمانی در سه بخش و یک پیوست، نقل از آغاز رمان پیکره ماروسی: «اگر به خاطر دختری به نام بتی رایان نبود که در پاریس با من در یک خانه زندگی میکرد، هرگز به یونان نمیرفتم.» پایان نقل؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Phil.
8 reviews3 followers
January 9, 2008
This beautiful and nearly flawless travel memoir is marred by this unfortunate sentence on page 121: "On the way to the library, I made kaka in my pants." Wha? Here's this fabulous surreal narrative about Greece, and suddenly the narrator doesn't just shit himself, he "makes kaka?" Skip page 121.
Profile Image for Henry Martin.
Author 90 books145 followers
September 14, 2014
When he was not tackling sex and philosophy, Henry Miller traveled. The Colossus of Maroussi is a book of those later times, when he, an "American Savage", entered the world of peace, beauty, and most of all, simplicity he was longing for while living in America.

Nothing could prepare him for what he encountered in Greece, neither the streets of New York, nor the streets of Paris - as both paled in comparison. Although enamored with France, Miller's passion for Europe goes way farther in this book, which at times reads more like L. D. novel than Miller's own.

Yet, at the same time, he manages to wrap himself in the beauty he encounters, dive into it without holding a breath and resurface a new, more complete being, spellbound by his experience. If only there were more writers like him - ahh, wishful thinking.

Most of all, this book shows Miller in a different light, not limited by his fame for writing about sex (actually, most of his books are not) as he explores a new land, unknown to him until then. His ability to take the reader's hand and walk around the countryside, observe the people, customs, and scenery is combined with philosophy and his personal views (What else would you expect from Miller?).

I have shared this book with many people who did not like Miller and their minds were changed forever. What more can be said?

Nothing - read the book and find out for yourself.
Profile Image for Rick Skwiot.
Author 9 books29 followers
November 20, 2012
Some critics call "The Colossus of Maroussi"--Henry Miller`s account of his trip to Greece on the eve of World War II--the greatest travel book ever. But, like all great travel books, it's much more than mere depiction of beautiful landscapes, missed connections, bad weather, and surly waiters--though Miller recounts those as well. Rather, the book stands as a compelling paean to the Greek spirit, to liberty, and to life--as well as a barbaric yawp prefiguring the coming cataclysm.

The Canadian critic Northrop Frye once said that the "story of the loss and regaining of identity...is the framework of all literature." That certainly applies well to travel literature, where the journey often occurs within the narrator as well as over the Earth, and in particular to The Colossus of Maroussi. At its core lies Miller's spiritual transformation through welcomed encounters with warm-hearted, generous, high-spirited Greeks, particularly the "colossus" Katsimbalis.

"I love these men, each and every one," writes Miller, "for having revealed to me the true proportions of the human being...the goodness, the integrity, the charity which they emanated. They brought me face to face with myself, they cleansed me of hatred and jealousy and envy."

Like most of Miller's writing, from the joyous novel "Tropic of Cancer" to his trenchant essays, this book succeeds thanks to his freewheeling iconoclasm, his divine madness, and his inimitable language:

"...Out of the corner of my eye I caught the full devastating beauty of the great plain of Thebes which we were approaching and, unable to control myself, I burst into tears. Why had no one prepared me for this? I cried out...We were amidst the low mounds and hummocks which had been stunned motionless by the swift messengers of light. We were in the dead center of that soft silence which absorbs even the breathing of gods...Through the thick pores of the earth the dreams of men long dead still bubbled and burst, their diaphanous filament carried skyward by flocks of startled birds."

Here, as always, we see Miller as primitive shaman, awed and humbled by nature and humanity, disdainful of modernity and materialism: "Mechanical devices have nothing to do with man's real nature--they are merely traps which Death has baited for him."

He underscores this view of us, as animals caught in a steel maze of our own making, by his frequent metaphoric mixing of nature's fecundity and manmade tawdriness, as when he describes the approach to Delphi:

"This is an invisible corridor of time, a vast, breathless parenthesis which swells like the uterus and having bowelled forth its anguish relapses like a run-down clock."

No, this is not your grandmother's travel writing, with its propriety, politeness, and "realistic" depictions, but word-pictures of an emotional landscape. That's the essence Miller strives to show: his subjective, experiential, inner reality. The subject here is Henry Miller, and what matters most is how these objects--the world--affect him.

As a result, this 1941 literary bombshell, ostensibly about Greece, documents Miller's memories of New York inspired by a view of Athens, provides a lengthy disquisition on jazz when he's confronted by a French woman who disdains the chaos of Greece, and paints a disquieting, mad, and ominous picture of Saturn when he climbs to an observatory and views it through a telescope. He tells us his dreams and daydreams and what he wished he would have said. Everything is fair game; the seeming digressions frequent and fabulous.

This is still nonfiction, but Miller's imaginative life at the time of his travels is real, and thus an important part of his narrative. In the end it all hangs together like a sumptuous tapestry woven by an inspired madman--which perhaps it is. We come away understanding more about the taste of Greek water, the quality of Greek light, and the magnificence of the Greek spirit than from reading all the objective reporting on Greece in the Library of Congress. He captures it all as it arrests him.

Traveling at times with Katsimbalis, the poet Seferiades, and/or Lawrence Durrell, Miller moves from Athens and Corfu to Knossus and Delphi as if in search of dead Greek gods--and finds them reincarnate.

We are lucky enough to travel with him, enduring treacherous seas, precipitous mountain passes, and heroic debauches, as well as feasting on the simple food, viewing the sublime beauty, and feeling the brotherhood and humanity that come to Miller like beneficent Peloponnesian sun wherever he turns. It is a trip I will make over and over again.
Profile Image for Zanna.
676 reviews945 followers
July 30, 2013
I found much of this book unreadable. Occasional luminous passages and insights nestle between large swathes of nonsense in which Miller abuses the language. Self-centred, self-indulgent ramblings of a privileged white guy abroad. Gross.
Profile Image for Matthew Ted.
713 reviews589 followers
May 23, 2023
63rd book of 2023.

This may turn out as a review of Greece more than Miller but, as Miller says himself,
I have always felt that the art of telling a story consists in so stimulating the listener's imagination that he drowns himself in his own reveries long before the end.

Though, I was in Greece as I read this, so they weren't reveries as such, but simply looking up from the page at the curling harbour at Aegina, or at the Acropolis, standing gravely on the hill in its 'centuries of silence'. I read about entering the port of Poros several hours before entering the port myself, by pure chance this happened, and though Miller describes a liveliness that was missing in my 21st century off-peak season, the landscape he saw was identical to my own. It's the first time, I believe, I've followed in almost real-time a book from the past. I could flick back several pages and say, Yes, this is exactly how Miller saw it nearly 100 years ago. The harbour like a whip. The strait, flanked by green. I was tangled in a cobweb of words and thoughts, and some strands, despite having been plucked ninety years ago, were still reverberating under my feet.

Interestingly (excuse me for writing a little like Miller at some point here), Miller attacks the English on multiple occasions. He does not like them; he cringes when he sees a Greek engage with one (how he loves the Greeks!), he does not befriend any of them, he wants the English who read his book to know he is an 'enemy of their kind'. They do not deserve Greece, he thought. They're the worst cooks in the world. (This, perhaps, is true. Though Orwell valiantly tried to defend us once on this matter.) It's interesting because this has shifted now. Europeans have a shared distaste for Americans in Europe. I have travelled lots, and slight grimaces always appear when a loud American accent strikes into the quiet. One evening in Greece, I was sat at a table on the pavement outside a restaurant, the surrounding tables almost all occupied by Germans (probably the greatest travelling company you can have, quiet, well-tempered, humorous), when a group of Americans asked for a nearby table. Already the Germans around me were watching them suspiciously. They began to yell and started filming themselves, one another. A nearby German gentleman adjusted his shirt collar as if the display was suffocating him; and a look passed between us, on the cusp of knowingness, apologetic, though I couldn't say who was apologising. On the flight home, an American couple stood in the aisle of the plane. The man began doing yoga. The woman, crocheting, standing. Someone in the row behind me muttered, 'Probably American.' On Aegina, I lay reading Miller on the beach. To my right, again, were a German couple. Soon, a large group of Americans descended on the beach and began loudly talking and playing volleyball, the latter of which continued to land or fly in our direction as we peacefully read or sunbathed. Again, the German gentleman and I exchanged a look. On my train ride to the airport, we accidently befriended an American, who stumbled onto the metro with a large suitcase and loudly asked us if this was the right line for the airport. We told him it was. He then began telling us that he had been in Athens for 4 days, had not used the metro once. I presumed he didn't have the right ticket either (later confirmed as true, he did not). This American, Sam from Kentucky, agreed with us about the loveliness of the Greeks. He then said that it was doubly surprising for him as everywhere he usually went, he was met with, Urgh, an American. We laughed and told him, frankly, that we often thought the same. He laughed. I humorously thought of Miller.

Of course, I'm countering Miller with Miller talk.

A great book, made greater by my travels. Athens is one of my new favourite European cities. Efcharistó Miller. I'll probably write some more stuff here once the holiday has brewed a little longer.

To be silent the whole day long, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself.
Profile Image for Emma.
52 reviews93 followers
May 14, 2017
...the last parts of the mosaic:

"We say erroneously that the Greeks humanized the gods. It is just the contrary. The gods humanized the Greeks. There was a Moment when it seemed as if the real significance of life had been grasped, a breathless Moment when the destiny of the whole human race was in jeopardy. The Moment was lost in the blaze of power which engulfed the intoxicated Greeks. They made mythology of a reality which was too great for their human comprehension. We Forget, in our enchantment with the myth, that it is Born of reality and is fundamentally no different from any other form of creation, except that it has to do with the very quick of life. We too are creating myths, though we are perhaps not Aware of it. But in our myths there is no place for the gods. We are Building an Abstract, dehumanized world out of the ashes of an illusory materialism. We are proving to ourselves that the universe is empty, a Task which is justified by our own empty logic. We are determined to conquer and conquer we shall, but the conquest is death."
Profile Image for Donna.
Author 1 book42 followers
May 18, 2016
Too bad he never read Homer. It might have helped.
Profile Image for Vasko Genev.
304 reviews65 followers
September 8, 2020

Е, не бях чел подобен пътепис. Добре, само прилича на пътепис. Структурата е типичната за жанра, НО ... всъщност това е ... ода, възхвала, преклонение към света на поезията, баси ... нещо такова. При това тази книга, тази ода е посветена на конкретна личност и може спокойно да се казва "Георгиос Кацимбалис от Амарусион (Маруси)".
Мисля, че това е първата ми среща с Хенри Милър. Хареса ми. Обичам писателите, които рискуват да излязат от комфорта на съобразяването на всяка цена (по модерному влизащи в калъпа на "политкоректността") и да се изразяват откровено и ярко като истински жудожници. Да, рискуват да изглеждат на места твърде крайни и тесногръди, а категоричното им мнение по някои въпроси да ги принизява до боравещите твърде леко с общия знаменател.
Разбира се, че ме подразни на някои места, но възхвалата му по всичко гръцко я възприемам като преклонение към изначалното и дивото, неопитоменото - всичко онова, преди да бъде обездушено от алчността на съвремнния човек - консуматор. Стори ми се един одухотворен Чарлз Буковски, Буковски с вселен у него Уитман и Рембо, колкото абсурдно и нелепо да звучи това. Леко, пък и недотам леко, прекалява със сравненията и метафорите, но все пак това е ода. Набелязах си много цитати. Като цяло книгата впечатлява, а Милър ще се чете.
Profile Image for Liza Bolitzer.
12 reviews6 followers
November 18, 2007
I always think that i will like travel books when i return from traveling, but that has never been the case, especially when they are written by self centered wankers like Henry Miller.
Profile Image for Whitaker.
294 reviews502 followers
April 28, 2009
On the Road in Greece.

Okay, that’s probably an exaggeration, but the sentiment is, I think, accurate. As does Kerouac in On the Road, Miller displays the same quickening to judgment, the same contempt for the bourgeois, the same obsession for the real. Greece to him is real. Unfortunately, the Greece that he sees is anything but. Miller falls in love with a vision of Greece that is as much made of present Greek poverty and past Greek myth. Part lengthy diatribe against modern civilization, part poetic paean of the Greek landscape, The Colossus of Maroussi is more a voyage into Miller than it is into Greece.

Profile Image for Beth.
511 reviews13 followers
May 11, 2011
I'm so disappointed. What a hunk of junk. I don't know what this book is supposed to be, but a travel book, it is not. This is more like some self-centered, old-fashioned guy's philosophical blathering about a trip to Greece he took ages ago -- except it's not even interesting, nor is it funny, and it doesn't make a lick of sense. He goes on and on for paragraphs and paragraphs with no seeming point, and doesn't have anything interesting to say. The best thing I can say about this book is that the cover is pretty. Ugh.
Profile Image for D'Ailleurs.
188 reviews
April 10, 2022
Δεν ξέρω αν είμαι ο πλεον κατάλληλος για να γράψω έστω και δύο αράδες για τον Μίλερ αλλά σε κάθε περίπτωση ο χειμαρώδης λόγος του πιστεύω ότι κερδίζει ακόμα και όσους δεν έχουν συνηθήσει αναγνώσματα τέτοιου είδους. Η άποψη του για την Ελλάδα δεν διαφέρει πολύ από αυτή του μέσου Αμερικανού τουρίστα: έχω δει τύπο από την βαθιά Αμερική να εκθειάζει την Ελλάδα επειδή μπορούσε να καπνίσει σε εσωτερικούς χώρους, δηλαδή αυτό το Βαλκανικό ντεκαντάνς που θυμίζει ένα απολειφάδι του δυτικού κόσμου όπου τίποτα δεν λειτουργεί σωστά αλλά για κάποιο λόγο γοητεύει όσους ξέρουν ότι δεν πρόκειται να μείνουν για πάντα εκεί.
Παρόλα αυτά η ποιητική πρόζα σε συνδιασμό με τις ταξιδιωτικές αυτοβιογραφικές περιγραφές έχουν την αυθεντικότητα που λείπει πχ από τον Τζούμα. Ο Μίλερ ήταν και θα είναι μια κατηγορία μόνος του και αυτό το βιβλίο το βεβαιώνει για μια ακόμα φορά.
Profile Image for Özgür Daş.
96 reviews
July 20, 2016
Miller bu anlatısına 'en iyi metnim' demiş yaşayıp da yazdıkları kuşkusuz doğruluyor bu söylemi, yerinde olup Katsimbalis'in gerçekle kurmacayı harmanladığı hikâyelerini, Seferis'in caz plaklarını dinlemeyi Durrell'la adaların ücra köşelerine yolculuk etmeyi çok isterdim.

"Bütün insanlığa barış ve daha dolu bir hayat dilerim."
(s. 210)
Profile Image for James Tingle.
149 reviews8 followers
October 18, 2020

(My copy was actually longer than this edition by a good few pages.)

I finished this today, after not reading for a while for some reason, and can say that I overall really enjoyed the book. The only other work I've so far read by Henry Miller is Tropic of Cancer, which I thought to be a very entertaining and well written book. This one is all about Henry Miller deciding to visit Greece, staying with his writer friend Lawrence Durrell, at his home in Corfu, as a starting base for his adventures to come. He enjoys hanging out with his pal and at first he doesn't get up to that much, but eventually he decides to head to mainland Greece and go back to Athens, where he visited very fleetingly before he went to Corfu. Here he meets the irrepressible, garrulous, full of life character that is Katsimbalis, who entertains him and his friends with epic rambling tales, that he lets rip with after they've feasted and drank copious amounts of wine. This larger than life person crops up a few times in the book, and it's clear that Henry Miller is very impressed with him, almost to the point of idolising the chap...
His adventures from this point veer away from Lawrence Durrell, and it's not until later that he makes another appearance, as most of the book Miller is travelling with Katsimbalis, or on his own. They do meet up in the last part, however, for a few more adventures, as he seeks to cram a little more sight-seeing in before being forced to return to New York, much to his displeasure.
It's on paper a travel book, but if you are looking for some sort of in-depth, detailed account of Greece and it's history, then this will not be the book for you, as that's not really the kind of book it is. It is more a journey of self-discovery for Miller and revelation, and although he does talk about the places he visits and gives a good account of them in his own poetic way, it's more about how Greece makes him feel, than anything else. He clearly has quite a spiritual awakening while spending time there, and he writes in a very effusive way, seeming as if he's becoming almost ecstatically happy and joyous as he travels around; philosophising with rapturous delight half the time, unless he's caught in a downpour, or being bothered by the odd tedious individual, here and there...
I enjoyed this book and found it very interesting and entertaining for the most part, although it can go almost a little too random occasionally, when he really goes off on one, and you wonder what he's been imbibing that day, before he sat down at the type writer, but these bits are quite rare. I think a lot of people will read this book and not like it that much, and may find it too rambling and unfocused, as it is quite unstructured and free-flowing, but I really liked that about it. Best enjoyed when not seen as a travel book, but as a work of self-discovery and self-enlightenment...enter with an open mind, and you may enjoy it as much as I did.
Profile Image for Owen.
255 reviews24 followers
August 2, 2012
Henry Miller's reputation as a writer needs little verification from the likes of me. Nevertheless, it is a pleasure to be able to confirm the abilities of a truly great author. This example of his work is in some ways a peculiar one since it was written during a turning point in modern history, namely the Second World War, and was inevitably a turning point in Miller's own life as well.

Henry Miller has not always had kind things to say about his native U. S. A. Here, in "The Colossus of Maroussi," he uses the American state as a kind of false backdrop for his discoveries in Greece. For Greece is the central geographical landscape on which he builds. Far from being a travelogue, however, it is a story of that ancient land and some of its people; Miller uses the fabric of Greek life to weave a story of mankind.

His writing is distinctly dated today, but delightfully so. It is full of a poetic imagery that is almost entirely absent from the main stream of post-modern literature. As such, it is very complex writing which occasionally seems to be almost self-serving, as if the author was writing for no one but himself. In the main, it is a very accessible book that tries to reach out in pure, non-political terms to touch the essential core of what is man. At the present time, we could do well to review our own situation in life, and one way of doing so is by simply reviewing the literature on the subject. I recommend "The Colossus of Maroussi" as a place to start. Besides being the work of a truly formidable writer, it will take you to places you probably never dreamed existed.
Profile Image for Кремена Михайлова.
607 reviews178 followers
February 7, 2017
Книгата – напоително откровение; божествена
(дано никога досега да не съм използвала тази дума).
Писателят – омайник.
Хенри Милър – идеалист, проповядващ против идеалите.

50 звезди!

Изкуших се да ��опирам наготово на английски от интернет, вместо да преписвам до безкрайност от безупречното българско издание.
(Стефан Стефанов не е преводач. Той е едно с Хенри Милър.)

„I would set out in the morning and look for new coves and inlets in which to swim. There was never a soul about. I was like Robinson Crusoe on the island of Tobago. For hours at a stretch I would lie in the sun doing nothing, thinking of nothing. To keep the mind, empty is a feat, a very healthful feat too. To be silent the whole day long, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself. The book-learning gradually dribbles away; problems melt and dissolve ties are gently severed; thinking, when you deign to indulge in it, becomes very primitive; the body becomes a new and wonderful instrument; you look at plants or stones or fish with different eyes; you wonder what people are struggling to accomplish by their frenzied activities; you know there is a war on but you haven't the faintest idea what it's about or why people should enjoy killing one another; you look at a place like Albania—it was constantly staring me in the eyes—and you say to yourself, yesterday it was Greek, today it's Italian, tomorrow it may be German or Japanese, and you let it be anything it chooses to be. When you're right with yourself it doesn't matter what flag is flying over your head or who owns what or whether you speak English or Monongahela. The absence of newspapers, the absence of news about what men are doing in different parts of the world to make life more livable or unlivable is the greatest single boon. If we could just eliminate newspapers a great advance would be made, I am sure of it. Newspapers engender lies, hatred, greed, envy, suspicion, fear, malice. We don't need the truth as it is dished up to us in the daily papers. We need peace and solitude and idleness. If we could all go on strike and honestly disavow all interest in what our neighbor is doing we might get a new lease of life. We might learn to do without telephones and radios and newspapers, without machines of any kind, without factories, without mills, without mines, without explosives, without battleships, without politicians, without lawyers, without canned goods, without gadgets, without razor blades -even or cellophane or cigarettes or money. This is a pipe dream, I know. People only go on strike for better working conditions, better wages, better opportunities to become something other than they are.“

“But there is something colossal about any human figure when that individual becomes truly and thoroughly human. A more human individual than Katsimbalis I have never met. Walking with him through the streets of Amaroussion I had the feeling that I was walking the earth in a totally new way. The earth became more intimate, more alive, more promising. He spoke frequently of the past, it is true, not as something dead and forgotten however, but rather as something which we carry within us, something which fructifies the present and makes the future inviting. He spoke of little things and of great with equal reverence; he was never too busy to pause and dwell on the things which moved him; he had endless time on his hands, which in itself is the mark of a great soul. How can I ever forget that last impression he made upon me when we said farewell at the bus station in the heart of Athens? There are men who are so full, so rich, who give themselves so completely that each time you take leave of them you feel that it is absolutely of no consequence whether the parting is for a day, or forever. They come to you brimming over and they fill you to overflowing. They ask nothing of you except that you participate in their superabundant joy of living. They never inquire which side of fence you are on because the world they inhabit has no fences. They make themselves invulnerable by habitually exposing themselves to every danger. They grow more heroic in the measure that they reveal their weaknesses. Certainly in those endless and seemingly fabulous stories which Katsimbalis was in the habit of recounting there must have been a good element of fancy and distortion, yet even if truth was occasionally sacrificed to reality the man behind the story only succeeded thereby in revealing more faithfully and thoroughly his human image.”
Profile Image for Antonia.
249 reviews65 followers
August 22, 2022
This book is itself a colossus of poetic writing. Devoted and inspired by the eternal light of Greece, Henry Miller employs the highest literary fluency to express his insightful observations and admiration of this humble and most beautiful Mediterranean land. It is a pleasure to follow in such intimacy how a place, a landscape, or an ancient rock could have such an enormous impact and influence on someone's creative process.
Profile Image for Frank Farrell.
100 reviews15 followers
August 27, 2014
A very opinionated man...often with a high opinion of himself, his friends and the idealized 'Greek'. Then a low opinion of his fellow Americans and the English. Obviously written before the word 'racism' was used..but surely he knew the word stereotype? If he had been 22 when he wrote then it would not have been so bad..but for a man in his forties!

He wanders about, preaching to poor people about the joys of poverty and then uses his money to upgrade to First Class as soon as life becomes uncomfortable. There are some useful reflections in parts but stuff he probably took from Alan Watts.

Having said that, there are some very fine passages. His observations on man's humanity are heartfelt yet controlled. They were written at the onset of the second world war and were just as valid today.

Overall, though, I was disappointed after the reviews it received.
Profile Image for Mike.
299 reviews137 followers
July 12, 2015

Greece has been sneaking up on me lately. First, it was just reading about the debt crisis in the paper and discussing it with my father, whose take is that ‘the Greeks have gotten lazy.’ Then I agreed to read Herodotus’s The Histories with my buddy Kareem. All well and good- still nothing terribly suspicious. But then I started to read Henry Miller’s account of traveling throughout Greece in 1939, while sitting in a diner near my house. As I read, I heard one of the owners of the diner, a very tall and broad bald guy I hadn’t seen for a while, talking to his nephew behind the counter in a foreign language. Occasionally, he would lapse into English. I heard him say, “so someone drinking a Heineken, it’s like driving a Lamborghini…”, and “another thing is that now everyone tips…” Remembering that this guy was Greek, I concluded that he was probably speaking Greek to his nephew, and probably describing a trip he’d recently taken, perhaps to Athens (which made sense, since, again, I hadn’t seen him at the diner for a while), the same city that I was reading Miller’s account of visiting.

Strange. But anyway, the first part of this book is great. Miller’s great at describing people, places and odd encounters with strangers. I have read a few reviews here making the complaint that this book is not really about Miller’s friend Katsimbalis, whom Miller calls ‘the colossus’, but about Miller himself, which seems to me about as silly as complaining that a singer doesn’t repeat the song’s title in the chorus. Here’s a sample of how Miller describes Katsimbalis, towards the beginning of the book:

I saw that he was made for the monologue…I like the monologue even more than the duet, when it’s good. It’s like watching a man write a book expressly for you: he writes it, reads it aloud, acts it, revises it, savors it, enjoys it, enjoys your enjoyment of it, and then tears it up and throws it to the winds…From the time he met us he was bubbling over. He was always that way, even on bad days when he complained of headache or dizziness or any of the hundred and one ailments which pestered him…Things which happened only yesterday fell into this same nostalgic done-for past. Sometimes, when he talked this way, he gave me the impression of being an enormous tortoise which had slipped out of its shell, a creature which was spending itself in a desperate struggle to get back into the shell which it had outgrown. In this struggle he always made himself look grotesque and ridiculous- he did it deliberately. He would laugh at himself, in the tragic way of the buffoon…He saw the humorous aspect of everything, which is the true test of the tragic sense.

And a little later: He could galvanize the dead with his talk. He was everywhere at once…If he couldn’t dispose of a thing at once, for lack of a phrase or an image, he would spike it temporarily and move on…All this flurry and din, all these kaleidoscopic prestidigitations of his, was only a sort of wizardry which he employed to conceal the fact that he was a prisoner- that was the impression he gave me when I studied him…Nobody can explain anything which is unique. One can describe, worship and adore. And that is all I can do with Katsimbalis’ talk.

Could you ask for a more vivid and interesting description of a person? What more could you want to know about Katsimbalis?

In addition to the occasional breathtaking passage (for me, anyway), there are some things about Henry Miller’s worldview that I admire and enjoy. Here’s another quote that I think speaks to both:

It was then that I made the discovery that his talk created reverberations, that the echo took a long time to reach one’s ears. I began to compare it with French talk in which I had been enveloped for so long. The latter seemed more like the play of light on an alabaster vase, something reflective, nimble, dancing, liquid, evanescent, whereas the other, the Katsimbalistic language, was opaque, cloudy, pregnant with resonances which could only be understood long afterwards when the reverberations announced the collisions with thoughts, people, objects located in distant parts of the earth. The Frenchman puts walls about his talk…The Greek, on the other hand, is an adventurer: he is reckless and adaptable, he makes friends easily…Of my own experience I would say that there is no more direct, approachable, easy man to deal with than the Greek. He becomes a friend immediately…With the Frenchman friendship is a long and laborious process: it may take a lifetime to make a friend of him. He is best in acquaintanceship where there is little to risk and there are no aftermaths.

If you find that you can enjoy this passage for the way in which it is expressed, for its creativity and clarity and attention to detail, even if you happen to disagree with him, then you are, or are becoming as you read, a little like Henry Miller. It reminds me of a quality a friend of mine has, who also happens to be the only person I know my age who likes, or at least liked, Henry Miller. My friend, like many people, has his share of strong opinions, but I’ve seen him argue a few times with people he’s disagreed with and, after listening to something the other person has said, step back and smile, and shake his head slowly, not sarcastically, but admiring something about the other person’s articulation, delivery, choice of words, style, etc. A lot of people don’t have that capacity. But there’s the same kind of quality in Miller’s writing. He is the kind of person who can get pleasure out of being gypped on taxi fare because of the particular way in which he’s gypped; because it’s an experience in Greece, a place he likes and sometimes finds hard to believe he's in. That’s the kind of person I’d want to be traveling with.

On the other hand, I see a connection between this quality (the ability to appreciate things aesthetically) and the aspect of Miller’s writing that I don’t really like: one of the ways it manifests is in the interminable rhapsodies about nothing. I remember these ecstatic rhapsodies from Tropic of Cancer, but especially from Tropic of Capricorn, which I couldn’t even finish. And I finish novels and novelish books about 98% of the time, once I’ve started them. I guess ecstatic rhapsodies were somewhat of a staple of the time, and Miller is a writer of a different time- you notice it as soon as you start to read him. You may even remember the 'Seinfeld' episode in which Jerry still has Tropic of Cancer checked out after something like sixteen years (he'd heard as a teenager that it contained sex scenes), and a librarian comes around to harass him. But I stopped reading Tropic of Capricorn in the middle of what I remember was at least a five-page encomium to ‘the cunt’- the cunt that knew itself, the eternal cunt, the cunt that transcended its own cuntness…it wasn’t offensive, at least not to me, but it was total gibberish. And I’ve found at least a little of this kind of thing in all three of Miller’s books that I’ve read, including, unfortunately, this one. Again, I think his descriptions of people and places and encounters, his thoughts on Greeks, Americans, the British, are great. I like him as long as he stays in the terrestrial realm. But there is a five-page sequence here in which he tries to tell some cosmic jazz origin story that I think may be one of the most annoying passages of prose I’ve ever read. And when he starts telling us that Greece is the land of light, that man will experience war and bloodshed until the ‘old gods’ return, and…sorry, but wake me up when that paragraph is over.

Lots of people get boring or overblown at times. No one’s perfect. But there is something else that I started to think about as I read parts 2 and 3, neither of which I liked as much as part 1, related to his appreciation of aesthetics, that I find a little more interesting. I’m not sure if it’s a fair criticism, or a criticism at all. I’m also not sure to what degree it would have stood out to me if I had never read Orwell’s ‘Inside the Whale’, which is ostensibly a review of Tropic of Cancer. But I have. The visit that Miller is describing to Greece, as I mentioned, took place in 1939. There were some pretty significant things happening in Europe at that time. Orwell, who published ‘Inside the Whale’ in 1940, says that while a contemporary writer is not required to write about world events, a writer who completely ignores them is generally an idiot. One of the things that seems to fascinate him about Miller is that Miller, who completely ignores world events, is clearly not an idiot, and that Tropic of Cancer is good. Orwell doesn’t reveal until part 3 of the essay that he and Miller have met:

I first met Miller at the end of 1936, when I was passing through Paris on my way to Spain. What most intrigued me about him was to find that he felt no interest in the Spanish war whatever. He merely told me in forcible terms that to go to Spain at that moment was the act of an idiot. He could understand anyone going there from purely selfish motives, out of curiosity, for instance, but to mix oneself up in such things from a sense obligation was sheer stupidity. In any case my Ideas about combating Fascism, defending democracy, etc., etc., were all baloney. Our civilization was destined to be swept away and replaced by something so different that we should scarcely regard it as human—a prospect that did not bother him, he said. And some such outlook is implicit throughout his work. Everywhere there is the sense of the approaching cataclysm, and almost everywhere the implied belief that it doesn't matter.

He goes on to compare Miller to Jonah in the belly of the whale- passive, subjective, with no desire to alter the course of world events (and with the knowledge that he couldn’t, even if he wanted to).

I remember reading a quote a while ago. I can’t remember who said it: “no serious person ever thinks about anything except Hitler and Stalin.” That might be an exaggeration, but one would think it would have been less of an exaggeration in 1939. I think Hitler is mentioned once in the book, and the impending war is mentioned a few times, but never with any of the detail that Miller brings to bear, say, on Katsimbalis. Instead, the reference generally sets us up for another long rhapsody. Or anti-rhapsody, whatever that would be called.

I guess that’s okay. After all, what good does it really do anyone to be dejected, or even to closely follow world events that you yourself, inside the whale (as we all are, as even Orwell admits), are powerless to prevent? And there will always be something going on in the modern world that others will want you to pay attention to and think about (although in general slightly less significant things than the beginning of WWII). And yet, there is something about Miller’s worldview that seems to me less admirable and more naïve than Orwell’s; Orwell went to a foreign country to fight, and was shot through the neck and almost died. So maybe this is more of a question of Miller’s worldview than his writing (although I think it would have been very interesting if he’d trained his powers of perception on, say, Hitler, as well as on his friend Katsimbalis), but personally I don’t think the two can always be separated; if I find a writer’s worldview to be somewhat naïve, then it doesn’t really matter how inventive the prose style is.

One might say that Miller wanted to preserve an image of a paradise that he worried would soon be lost. But it wasn’t a paradise: Greece, as he mentions only once, was under a military dictatorship at this time. Should he have written about that? I can’t say. Not necessarily. But I can’t help but be reminded of another book, Roberto Bolano’s By Night in Chile, set during Pinochet’s coup, in which the artsy-fartsy folks sit around and talk about art and aesthetics while there’s a torture chamber in the basement.

That being said, there are some sequences in this book that I thought were really great, and there are things that I’ll certainly reread if I ever end up going to Greece.
Profile Image for Loran.
6 reviews
April 3, 2007
Miller finally departs from his shock-therapy style of incorporating the obscene in order to leap from the earth, but in no way does this diminish his poise, as he frolicks for a year in Greece with Lawrence Durrell. This work is as fanciful and full of poppycock as any other great piece by the man whose work I love so dearly I had some of it tatooed on my belly... but here the often under-praised sooth-sayer concerns himself essentially with human happiness and the folly of self-imposed suffering of the modern west. Miller, I think, must have sounded dated sometimes even to his contemporaries, but he is rarely guilty of looking shallow in hindsight. His proclaimations in Colossus-- that we must endeavor ever-more-so to rid ourselves of our learned tendencies to mistake progress for happiness-- are as true today in the face of terrorism as they were when the work was concieved, at the onslaught of WWII.

Some people have called this Miller's best work, but I won't say so, even if it is deliciously rhapsodic and delivers his best soliloqouy on the value of mirth and light in life. It is probably his most accessible work, and would appeal to the broadest of audiences, but when has that ever constituted "best" in the mind possessed of its own unique songs?
Profile Image for Mel Bossa.
Author 29 books193 followers
August 27, 2017
Wonderful. I'd say a masterpiece. If I ever do go to Greece, I will have this book as my travel companion. Henry Miller gave himself completely over in this homage to Greece. His love for mankind is in every line. Some times it's a tough love...

The book closes with the dark ominous threat of WWII coinciding with Miller's return to New York. The timing of the trip really adds to the experience because Miller writes it like it is an urgent testimony to our world before it blows.

I urge anyone who needs a little dose of grace, truth and beautiful humanity to read this gem.

It makes me want to be a little more alive, physical, awake, grateful, hungry, honest, giving, contemplative and bold.
Profile Image for Maayan K.
123 reviews16 followers
April 25, 2017
After a few months of effort, I'm finally abandoning this book. Once you strip away the fact that it was original and genre-bending back when it was written, you're left with only one conclusion: Henry Miller is a self-centred wanker. Yes, he can write a truly astonishing sentence here and there. But his stream of privileged-man-consciousness is unbearably boring by page 120. He is incoherent and pretentious. He has not heard of either editing, or paragraph breaks.

And I wanted to like it. Miller was close friends with Lawrence Durrell, who I know well as "Larry" from his younger brother Gerald's hilarious books about his childhood running wild in Corfu. My desire to recapture a bit of that magic was dashed over and over as Miller drones on about Agamemnon or whatever the hell. On the content side, he outright orientalizes Greece conflating modern poverty with mythological romance in his ham-fisted attempt to indict America for all sorts of modern ills. And then there's the misogyny: "... I was impressed by the absence of those glaring defects which make even the most beautiful American or English woman glaringly ugly. The Greek woman even when she is cultured, is first and foremost a woman. She sheds a distinct fragrance; she warms and thrills you." UGH.

There's probably a well-written, slim little pamphlet-sized thing buried in this mess of a book somewhere - the author is legit capable of devastating prose. As it is though, this is the kind of book you can only get the motivation to read because a dude you once went on two dates with won't shut up about Henry Miller. Well fuck them both, I'm out.
Profile Image for Şafak Akyazıcı.
93 reviews33 followers
July 8, 2021
Henry Miller’ı müstehcen olduğu gerekçesiyle uzunca bir süre yazıldığı dönemin yasakl�� kitapları arasında olan Yengeç ve Oğlak Dönencesi ile tanıdım. Kesinlikle doğru, kitaplar fazla müstehcen olmakla beraber edebi değeri ise paha biçilemez bana göre. Aradan geçen bu sürede Marousi’nin Devi’yle karşımda bambaşka bir Hery Miller buldum. Kitabının son sayfalarında da bunu doğrulayan bir cümlesi var; ‘gözlerim bağlı, bocalayan, kararsız, adımlarla yürümüştüm;gururlu, kibirliydim...’
Bu kitabıyla ise daha olgun, büyümüş, aşırılıklarından arınmış bir Miller vardı artık.
Marosi’nin Devi, Miller’ın arkadaşı Katsimbalis için yazdığı kitabı, Yunanistan’a seyahati, benliğini genişlettiği deneyimleri... Bu kitapla Yunanistan’ı bir uçtan bir uca gezmeye hazır olun. Genel anlamıyla başarılı bir seyahatname, bir serüven kitabı. Son on sayfası ise muhteşem, okurunu fazlasıyla yükselten bir bitişi var kitabın.
Otobiyografik bu kitaplar, Yengeç Dönencesi, Oğlak Dönencesi ve Marousi’nin Devi sıralamasıyla okunduğunda yazarın hayatı ve gelişim süreci daha anlaşılır ve daha anlamlı olabilir.
“Hayatımda ilk kez mutlu olmanın bütün farkındalığıyla mutluydum.Sadece mutlu olmak iyidir, mutlu olduğunu bilmekse daha iyidir; fakat mutlu olduğunu anlamak, bunun neden ve nasıl hangi olayların koşulların bir araya gelmesi sonucunda gerçekleştiğini bilmek ve yine mutlu olmak, varlığında bir bilincinde mutluluk duymak- işte bu mutluluktan öte, saadettir.”
“İnsan bir gün tanrı olacağı inancını yitirecek olursa solucandan farkı kalmaz.”
“Kişi hazır olmadığı takdirde arzuladığı deneyimin tadına varamaz.”
“Bütün insanlığa barış ve daha dolu bir hayat dilerim.”
Profile Image for Tasos.
264 reviews41 followers
July 1, 2020
Συνήθως βαριέμαι τα ταξιδιωτικά απομνημονεύματα σε οποιαδήποτε μορφή, ο Χένρι Μίλερ όμως βρήκε στην Ελλάδα το νόημα της ζωής (του) και η καταγραφή της μυσταγωγίας που ένιωσε στα διάφορα μέρη που επισκέφτηκε, της φιλίας του με τον Σεφέρη και τον Κατσίμπαλη (αυτός είναι ο Κολοσσός του Αμαρουσίου, όχι ο Πατούλης) και του διακριτικού bitching για την προεξέχουσα λογοτεχνική μορφή της Κρήτης (που δεν κατονομάζει, αλλά δεν παίζει να είναι άλλη από τον Καζαντζάκη) καθιστούν το βιβλίο ένα απολαυστικό ανάγνωσμα, ενδεικτικό του τι βλέπουν οι ξένοι στην Ελλάδα και εμείς αγνοούμε ή δεν μπορούμε να νιώσουμε.
Profile Image for Ana Carvalheira.
252 reviews65 followers
November 2, 2015
Embora não me sinta muito atraída pelas edições mainstream da obra de Henry Miller publicadas em Portugal (nunca me seduziu a leitura do Trópico de Câncer ou do Trópico de Capricórnio, assim como a trilogia Sexus, Plexus e Nexus, títulos de referência deste autor americano), foi através dos trabalhos, digamos, secundários, que optei por iniciar a abordagem à sua obra.

“Big Sur e as Laranjas de Hieronymus Bosch” transportou-me para a génese da Beat Generation donde viriam a despontar nomes como Jack Kerouac ou William S. Burroughs, entre outros, que ficaram célebres pela adoção de uma consciência underground que se tornaria fundamental para a compreensão do movimento literário americano dos anos cinquenta e sessenta.

“Dias de Paz em Clichy” interessou-me fundamentalmente por ter sido o primeiro livro de Miller escrito em Paris (sua cidade de adoção), assim como um dos seus primeiros trabalhos dentro do género da literatura erótica, género esse que o rotularia como “escritor maldito” já que as suas obras mais célebres e acima referenciadas foram censuradas no seu país natal, durante muitos anos, “devido ao seu conteúdo sexual explícito”. Também não me emocionou por aí além.

“O Colosso de Maroussi”, é completamente diferente de tudo o que lera, de tudo o que ouvira sobre o conjunto da obra de Miller. Não consiste numa “literatura de viagem”, pese embora o caráter descritivo da narrativa mas antes num memorável périplo de descobertas e experiências do ser, na paisagem ora maravilhosa, ora inóspita da Grécia pré segunda Guerra Mundial; configura, antes, um relato de uma viagem que nos transporta para uma dimensão de conhecimento interior do próprio autor, enformado por um sentido quase epifânico já termina a narrativa com a seguinte declaração: “Desse dia em diante, passei a dedicar a minha vida à recuperação da divindade do homem. Paz a todos os homens, é o que eu desejo, e uma vida mais copiosa”.

E será nesta temática da divindade do homem que devemos entender parte deste trabalho. A mitologia grega que sempre nos garantiu que os deuses foram criados à imagem e semelhança do homem, Miller contrapõe precisamente o contrário: “A impressão mais forte que me deixou a Grécia foi a de ser um mundo à medida do homem. A Grécia é o berço dos deuses … os deuses tinham proporções humanas : foram criados pelo espírito humano (…). Dizemos erradamente que os gregos humanizaram os deuses. É precisamente o contrário. Foram os deuses que humanizaram os gregos. Houve um momento em que se teve a sensação de apreender o verdadeiro significado da vida, um momento de expectativa em que pareceu estar em jogo o destino de toda uma raça humana”.

“O Colosso de Maroussi” considerado pela crítica e pelo próprio autor o melhor livro da sua bibliografia, não possui uma estrutura literária simples: embora esteja dividido em três grandes partes, possui uma narrativa elíptica o que, em determinadas alturas, torna a leitura cansativa. Mas é um livro curioso, carregado de humor e a felicidade que irradia do autor nas suas deambulações por Atenas, Cnossos, Hidra, Esparta, Delfos e por outras ilhas dos arquipélagos gregos, é fantasticamente, contagiante.
Profile Image for Khaled Awad.
121 reviews77 followers
March 20, 2016

يصف هذا الكتاب رحلة هنري ميللر في اليونان، واليونان بلد مُلهم لكبار الكتاب عبر التاريخ،
لكن لا يكتفي ميللر بوصف اليونان ، بل يتحدث -كالعادة - عن كل شيء...
عندما تقرأ لهنري ميللر لاتعرف من أين يبدأ ولا أين ينتهي، ل��نه دائماً يحاول أن يؤكد قوله:
(أفضل القصص التي سمعتها هي بلا نهاية،
وأفضل الكتب هي التي لا أذكر عقدتها أبداً،
وأفضل الاشخاص هم من لا أصل معهم إلى أي نتيجة....)

من عشية الحرب العالمية ا��ثانية يقدم لنا هنري ميللر، يقول:
(الكل يسير في الاتجاه الخاطئ.... هذه واحدة من أسوأ لحظات تاريخ الجنس البشري،
لا بارقة أمل في الأفق، العام كله متورط في الخداع، العالم يأخذ حمامه من الدم)

ثم يدعو للعلاج: ( لا يمكن لاي انسان أن يدعي معرفة الفرح إلى أن يمارس السلام...
ولن يحل السلام إلى ان نلغي الجريمة من القلب والعقل)

لا يوجد كاتب يكتب بهذه الطريقة من الاتقاد، كما يفعل هنري ميللر:
(لا يزال أمامنا بعد الكثير من الاشياء الاعظم لنقولها، أشياء تعصى على اللفظ،
أشياء لا حد لها ولا تصدق، أشياء لاية خدعة لغوية ان تحيط بها)
Profile Image for MA Arman.
66 reviews3 followers
November 4, 2020
اگرچه تندیس ماروسی واقعا به مناسبت سفر میلر به یونان نوشته شده است، اما تندیس ماروسی سفرنامه نیست. تندیس ماروسی داستان هم نیست. حتی شرح یونان و یونانیان هم نیست. گرچه میلر همه اینها را در تندیس ماروسی گنجانده، تندیس ماروسی از نظر من، خودِ میلر است. فقط و فقط خود میلر.
باید حوصله توصیفات او را داشته باشی و از خلال آنها باورهای میلر را بیابی. تندیس ماروسی برای شناخت بیشتر میلر عالی است، اگرچه برای کسی که نخستین بار است میلر می‌خواند شاید آنقدر جاذب نباشد.
توصیفات میلر و تلاشی که به خرج میدهد تا سرمایه ستیزی خود را این جا و آنجا به رخ بکشد، و اصراری که بر بیان تنفر اش از مظاهر سرمایه داری آمریکایی دارد، کتاب را پر کرده است. میلر از هر فرصتی استفاده میکند تا گوشزد کند آنچه به اسم آمریکا به خوردتان داده اند روتوش زیبایی بر واقعیتی بی اندازه زشت است. از نظر او فقط احمق ها آمریکا را دوست دارند و با وجود یونان اصلا چگونه کسی میتواند آمریکا را دوست داشته باشد. برای میلر فرانسه و پاریس جایی است که واقعا زندگی کرده است، جایی است که زندگی کردن را از آنجا آغاز کرده است. اما در مقابلِ خلوص زندگی در یونان، فرانسه هم هیچ است. این جا و آنجا گوشزد میکند که یونان دروازه شرق است و شرق جایی است که هنوز انسان هست. دائم میگوید شاید روزی به ایران، عربستان، هند، سمرقند یا چین برود. حتی انتظار دارد دوستان اش را آنجا ببیند و مطمئن است چنان ملاقاتی بین بهترین نسخه او و بهترین نسخه دوستان اش خواهد بود.
میلر به پیشنهاد زنی که در فرانسه با او هم خانه است در جستجوی انسان آنگونه که او میپسندد به یونان می رود و اتفاقا آنچه را میجوید، به کمال میابد. در کنار همه کسانی که در یونان او را مسحور خود میکنند کاتسیم بالیس همان مسیحای میلر است. شاید این تندیس (ماروسی شهری در آتیک) که نه فقط معرف آتیکا (منطقه تاریخی اطراف آتن)، بلکه نمادی از یونان است خود کاتسیم بالیس باشد. شاید اصلا او نماد انسان است. و این مجسمه چیزی است که از انسان باقیمانده است. یا بهتر بگویم، این تندیس ثابت میکند انسان هنوز باقی مانده است.
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