19 Apr 2009

Sexus, Henry Miller, Vol. 1, pp.9a-11a

[A Summary through censored citation.]

Henry Miller

Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion

Volume One


Lust rebirths the protagonist in his early middle-age.
I was approaching my thirty-third year, the age of Christ crucified. A wholly new life lay before me, had I the courage to risk all. Actually there was nothing to risk : I was at the bottom rung of the ladder, a failure in every sense of the word. (9bd)
He is married. Last night he met a new woman at the dance hall. His desire for her overcomes him.
To make absolute, unconditional surrender to the woman one loves is to break every bond save the desire not to lose her, which is the most terrible bond of all. (9d)
Love is his new ambition.
In the distance a band was playing; it brought back memories of my childhood, stifled dreams, longings, regrets. A sultry, passionate rebellion filled my veins. I thought of certain great figures in the past, of all that they had accomplished at my age. What ambitions I may have had were gone; there was nothing I wanted to do except to put myself completely in her hands. Above everything else I wanted to hear her voice, know that she was still alive, that she had not already forgotten me. To be able to put a nickel in the slot every day of my life henceforth, to be able to hear her say hello, that and nothing more was the utmost I dared hope for. (10c)
He tries to contact her to see if she will be at the dance hall again. He never reaches her. But prepares to go again in hopes of a chance encounter.
I telephoned my wife that I would not be home for dinner. She greeted the announcement in her usual disgusted way, as though she expected nothing more of me than disappointments and postponements. «Choke on it, you b___,» I thought to myself as I hung up, «at least I know that I don't want you, any part of you, dead or alive.» (10d)
He boards a trolley.
I rode around for a couple of hours in a deep trance; when I came to I recognized an Arabian ice cream parlor near the water-front, got off, walked to the wharf and sat on a string-piece looking up at the humming fret-work of the Brooklyn Bridge. There were still several hours to kill before I dared venture to go to the dance hall. Gazing vacantly at the opposite shore my thoughts drifted ceaselessly, like a ship without a rudder. (11a)

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

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