LITERATURE: Tropic of Cancer – Out of its time

I’m wondering if some so-named literary classics must be read for that which gave them their standing.  In other words, what made them exploratory and outstanding in their time, even though it no longer appeals for that reason.  As, by the way, would anything that is groundbreaking once the ground is broken. 

I’m going to give Tropic of Cancer fifty more pages (beyond the ten I struggled through today) to convince me it’s worth reading for itself, not for its impact on the literary world. 

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3 Responses to LITERATURE: Tropic of Cancer – Out of its time

  1. Anne says:

    Titillating, perhaps. A masterpiece? Not even close. Put it down and move on to something worthwhile.

  2. susan says:

    Yeah, I think you’re right. Just the stubborn streak in me that insists upon finding the good.

  3. furiousd says:

    One of my favorites. Give it a chance. Or, try picking up the Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, a bit rambling, but also brilliant. Yes, it might be useful to understand that Miller was using Tropic, in a way to shed himself of all things American. All the corruption, shallowness etc, that he had experienced living in New York City for 30 some years. He was emerging from that like a butterfly out of a cocoon, and in doing so creating a work that was very daring and original for it’s time. Some may criticize it for it’s lack of being a novel in a certain sense, and that’s true, but that was the point. He wanted a new expression, a new creation, not necessarily borne on the backs of the earlier masters of the form. Similar to what Roberto Bolano recently did with his work, in the latin american community.
    By the way, anyone who calls this work titilating, is not a deep reader. Just sayin’.

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