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Miller portrays the Big Sur environment and his friends and neighbors on the California coast
Jeffers' Country -- Nature's highway -- Big Sur: utopia, U.S.A.? -- Open-space at continent's end -- The influence of the counter-culture, community, and State -- The "battle" for Big Sur, or debating the national environmental ethic -- Defining the value of California's coastline -- Epilogue: millionaires and beaches: the socio-political economics of California coastal preservation in the twenty-first century
Scholarly responses to Henry Miller's works have never been numerous and for many years Miller was not a fashionable writer for literary studies. In fact, there exist only three collections of essays concerning Henry Miller's oeuvre. Since these books appeared, a new generation of international Miller scholars has emerged, one that is re-energizing critical readings of this important American Modernist. Henry Miller: New Perspectives presents new essays on carefully chosen themes within Miller and his intellectual heritage to form the most authoritative collection ever published on this author.
DOING IT WITH THE COSMOS: HENRY MILLERS BIG SUR STRUGGLE FOR LOVE BEYOND SEX explores the evolving pantheistic vision and agonizing personal relationships of this rogue elephant of American literature. After years of exclusive conversations with people who knew Miller when he lived in Big Sur, the author concludes that, contrary to a popular mindset, Miller was not an apostle of gratuitous playboy sex. On the contrary, his books detail the mans tortuous efforts to integrate impulsive urges that were wholly beyond control into a higher, more spiritual, form of love that may, or may not, include sex. His message: "We dont have to make [the earth] a paradise. It is one. We have only to make ourselves fit to inhabit it ... Love is not a game, its a state of being." This book is a unique introduction to one of Americas most controversial literary greats, tracing his spiritual development from its shaky beginnings in Paris through its expansion in Greece to its culmination in Big Sur. The book not only serves as a manual of happiness, it is a caveat for people planning to play house together. Millers ultimtely joyful Nature wisdom, is an antidote for what ails an entire generation of restive, sex and violence-inundated Americans.
SHEPHERDS OF PAN ON THE BIG SUR-MONTEREY COAST is a medley of lively, literate essays about the Nature wisdom linking some unlikely bedfellows: Robert Louis Stevenson, Gertrude Atherton, Jack London, Robinson Jeffers, Jaime de Angulo, John Steinbeck, Eric Barker, D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and others, with a pertinent postscript on William James, father of American psychology. All these luminaries came to perceive divinity in the awesome, double-dealing power of Nature, symbolized by the Greek god Pan. Many became pantheists, or nature mystics, under the spell of the alternately soft and violent landscape of Californias central coast. The book is a multicolored meditation on a deeply rooted -- and often overlooked -- human need to reconnect with Nature, wellspring of our inner joy and psychic wholeness.
Against skeptics, Männiste argues that Miller does indeed have a philosophy of his own, which underpins most of his texts. It is demonstrated that this philosophy, as a metaphysical sense of life, forms a system the understanding of which is necessary to adequately explain even some of the most basic of Miller's ideas. Building upon his notion of the inhuman artist, Miller's philosophical foundation is revealed through his literary attacks against the metaphysical design of the modern age. It is argued that, by repudiating some of the most potent elements of late modernity such as history, modern technology and an aesthetisized view of art, Miller paves the way for overcoming Western metaphysics. Finally it is showed that, philosophically, this aim is governed by Miller's idiosyncratic concept of art, in which one is led towards self-liberation through transcending the modern society and its dehumanizing pursuits.

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