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The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller
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's review
Jan 30, 2008

liked it

Not one of Miller's best, but the first authentic travel narrative that I've read of his (many more on the New Directions imprint). In his adventures around Greek, Miller elucidates what it means to be an American scornful of his country on the road in a land which he fails to understand (and even covers up his naive knowledge of Greek lore), but holds more love for. While this anti-Americanism is nothing new for him, in fact books like Tropic of Cancer and the Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy were rife with it, the sentiment is more jarring in Colossus of Maroussi than elsewhere because he often replaces his nationality with that of a transplanted Parisian. Around halfway through, his overall writing improves beyond the callow and unconvincing descriptions saturated in the first half, and several comical stories from his journeys surface. A postscript letter from Lawrence Durrell to Miller after he had department Greece sadly may be the funniest anecdote of the entire book.

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Quotes Anthony Liked

Henry Miller
“The Turk aroused my antipathies almost at once. He had a mania for logic which infuriated me. It was bad logic too. And like the others, all of whom I violently disagreed with, I found in him an expression of the American spirit at its worst. Progress was their obession. More machines, more efficiency, more capital, more comforts – that was their whole talk. I asked them if they had heard of the millions who were unemployed in America. They ignored the question. I asked them if they realized how empty, restless and miserable the American people with all their machinemade luxuries and comforts. They were impervious to my sarcasm. What they had wanted was success - money, power, a place in the sun.”
Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi

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