21 Apr 2009

Sexus, Henry Miller, Vol. 1, pp.pp. 16a-17c

[A summary through sometimes-censored citation.]

Henry Miller

Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion

Volume One

pp. 16a-17c

Desperate Anticipations
Arrangings to Meet

Days pass. The protagonist hears nothing from his new secret love. When he can escape his wife, he writes voluminous love letters.
From time to time I had tried to write but the gloom which my wife created around her was too much for me. Only once did I succeed in breaking the spell which she had cast over the place; that was during a high fever which lasted for several days when I refused to see a doctor, refused to take any medicine, refused to take any nourishment. In a courner of the room upstairs I lay in a wide bed and fought off a delirium which threatened to end in death. I had never really been ill since childhood and the experience was delicious. To make my way to the toilet was like staggering through all the intricate passages of an ocean liner. I lived several lives in the few days that it lasted. That was my sole vacation in the sepulchre which is called home. The only other place I could tolerate was the kitchen. It was a sort of comfortable prison cell and, like a prisoner, here I often sat alone late into the night planning my escape. (16b-d)
After I had posted a letter I would go upstairs and lie down beside my wife and, with eyes wide open, stare into the darkness, as if trying to read my future. (17a)

His desperation is his certainty.
I said to myself over and over that if a man, a sincere and desperate man like myself, loves a woman with all his heart, if he is ready to cut off his ears and mail them to her, if he will take his heart's blood and pump it out on paper, saturate her with his need and longing, besiege her everlastingly, she cannot possibly refuse him. The homeliest man, the weakest man, the most undeserving man must triumph if he is willing to surrender his last drop of blood. No woman can hold out against the gift of absolute love. (17b)

He returns to the dance hall. There's a message. It's from her.
The sight of her handwriting made me tremble. (17bc)
They will meet tomorrow at midnight. But he must not contact her at home.

Miller, Henry. Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion. New York: Grove Press, 1965.

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