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a.k.a. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare: volume 2


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a.k.a. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare: volume 2

30 review for Remember To Remember

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Buhs

    Well, maybe not the best choice for getting re-acquainted with Henry Miller. All of the usual faults, as well as the good points. Remember to Remember is not a novel--not even really a book. It seems to be a bunch of cast-offs put together after "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare" and brought out as volume two of that book. The essays vary widely--from a discourse on bread o personal vignettes--and there is nothing really holding them together, besides being written by Miller, and no reason to the or Well, maybe not the best choice for getting re-acquainted with Henry Miller. All of the usual faults, as well as the good points. Remember to Remember is not a novel--not even really a book. It seems to be a bunch of cast-offs put together after "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare" and brought out as volume two of that book. The essays vary widely--from a discourse on bread o personal vignettes--and there is nothing really holding them together, besides being written by Miller, and no reason to the order. That said, there are some interesting points, and Miller is always thoughtful, willing to take on the weak point of his arguments--and make them strong, thus resisting easy dismissal. It is clear from this book, most of which was written in the early 1940s, that he was having a hard time adjusting to life in the United States after 10 years in Europe--forced to return, he says here, because of the impending war. He found America soulless and, worse for Miller's standpoint, body-less: the body was home tot he soul, and the mechanism through which the divine was touched. America was empty, focused only on making money. There are an even dozen essays here; half of them are descriptions of men who have touched Miler's life. For the most part, these leave me cold. Miller wants to get at the essence of the person, which means that much of the essay ends up being a piling upon of adjectives and descriptions, all rather abstract for my tastes. No surprise, then, that I found Astrological Fricasse, the most interesting, since it was rooted in events. (I have no idea whether the events actually happened or not; one does not ask Miller such questions: the events provide access to truth whether autobiographical or fictional.) The other six are political--in one way or another--and often deal with the comparison between a spiritually vacant America and a spiritually rich Europe. "The Staff of Life" locates this difference in the bread Americans consume, which is flavorless and terrible, compared toEuropean bread. (And this was a couple of years before Siegfried Gideon would make the same complaints in "Mechanization Takes Command.") "Murder the Murderer is a protest against World War II--and shows Miller's deep thinking on the subject. The essay isn't just a crude hatred of war--something Tiffany Thayer might have said, for example, murder the murderers. Miller is trying to get at the urge to murder that resides in people, and that is what needs to be murdered. The titular essay, and probably the best, has some of the same nuance. In it, Miller first evokes that phrase--Remember to Remember--then take sit apart, noting that memory is something beyond the ability to remember--before coming back to it at the end. This essay most clearly marks out the differences he sees between Europe and America, but he also acknowledges that Europe can be corrupt and even putrid--look at all the wars that start there--but that is still a sign of its vitality, he says, that people are struggling. Only those with a body can decompose, and so Europe can--and its soul can be threatened--but that is more than America can advertise, since it has neither soul nor body but is just a bundle of processes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alessandro

    "Gli uomini di buona volontà non necessitano di governo per regolare i propri affari. In ogni epoca c’è una piccola minoranza che vive senza prendere in considerazione, o desiderare, un governo. Questi uomini non hanno mai provocato una guerra. Finché dura la civiltà è possibilissimo che questa minoranza sostanzialmente non aumenti mai. Tali uomini non sono il prodotto delle nostre organizzazioni religiose o dei nostri sistemi educativi; essi vivono al di fuori dei sistemi culturali del tempo. I "Gli uomini di buona volontà non necessitano di governo per regolare i propri affari. In ogni epoca c’è una piccola minoranza che vive senza prendere in considerazione, o desiderare, un governo. Questi uomini non hanno mai provocato una guerra. Finché dura la civiltà è possibilissimo che questa minoranza sostanzialmente non aumenti mai. Tali uomini non sono il prodotto delle nostre organizzazioni religiose o dei nostri sistemi educativi; essi vivono al di fuori dei sistemi culturali del tempo. Il massimo che possiamo dire, per spiegare la loro comparsa, è che sono esseri evoluti. E qui dobbiamo assolutamente mettere il dito sull’inconveniente di tutti gli schemi, utopistici o di altra specie, per il miglioramento della società umana: l’incapacità inerente a tutti loro di riconoscere che la razza umana non si evolve alla stessa velocità né col medesimo ritmo. Dove si perviene soltanto alla realizzazione d’un sogno e d’un desiderio – e che altro si può ottenere, concentrandosi sulla società anziché sull’individuo? – c’è confusione e illusione. Anche se gli cacciate baionette roventi nel didietro, non potete spingere gli uomini in paradiso tutti in una volta. È questo fatto, naturalmente, che i cosiddetti realisti, che sono sempre disfattisti, prendono a pretesto con gusto sinistro, onde scusare e perpetrare il mestiere dell’assassino. A ogni guerra essi sostengono di difendere la società da un orribile destino, o di proteggere i deboli e gli inermi. Gli uomini di giudizio che sono davvero gli uomini di buona volontà, e che si trovano in ogni strato della società e non in una classe in particolare, non avanzano mai simili pretese. Li si accusa spesso di essere assenti, lontani, fuori dal mondo. Eppure è a loro che si rivolgono gli uomini in cerca di conforto e di guida nell’ora del bisogno. Perché anche il meno intelligente sembra avvertire che il disinteresse sincero è una sorgente di forza."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    Another collection of essays centered somewhat on his return to America, this is a prime example of Miller both at his most acerbic- when reflecting upon America, and having to leave Europe, and his most generous- when describing his artist friends and reminiscing about his time in France. A great collection.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joana

    The end is a cold, dead mystery, like Mesa Verde. We sit on the top of an Enchanted Mesa, but we forgot how we got there, and what is worst, we do not know how to climb down anymore. We are on top of the Mountain that was God and it is extinct - " the most lovely inanimate object in existence." The end is a cold, dead mystery, like Mesa Verde. We sit on the top of an Enchanted Mesa, but we forgot how we got there, and what is worst, we do not know how to climb down anymore. We are on top of the Mountain that was God and it is extinct - " the most lovely inanimate object in existence."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    At times, Henry Miller runs off at the mouth, and some of the essays in Remember To Remember could have been whittled down to a tenth of their size. But it is not my job to edit Henry Miller. The important thing is that I think his instincts are superb. He will spend dozens of pages on a painter like Abe Rattner. When I look up the painter's work, I am enthralled. In the end, I just soldier on through his prose, knowing that when he gets really enthusiastic about something, he goes all out. Seve At times, Henry Miller runs off at the mouth, and some of the essays in Remember To Remember could have been whittled down to a tenth of their size. But it is not my job to edit Henry Miller. The important thing is that I think his instincts are superb. He will spend dozens of pages on a painter like Abe Rattner. When I look up the painter's work, I am enthralled. In the end, I just soldier on through his prose, knowing that when he gets really enthusiastic about something, he goes all out. Several of the essays, particularly the hilarious "Astrological Fricasse" about a Hollywood party full of poseurs; "Remember to Remember," an elegy on France and the French; and "Artist and Public," a plea for government subsidy to artists, make the whole experience worthwhile.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rita Samson

    Ik vond het niet erg bijzonder, veel liever heb ik de herinneringen over Parijs gelezen van Hemingway. Het filosofische in dit boek sprak mij niet echt aan.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  8. 5 out of 5

    Murat Acar

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katya Baskakova

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tegan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luciuscatilina

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Atthar

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hank

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael A. Sherbon

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Schaman

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marsinay

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  21. 5 out of 5

    Asia

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Erkelens

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

  24. 4 out of 5

    Guillaume

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jay

  26. 5 out of 5

    James Hawes

  27. 5 out of 5

    Serpil Demirci

  28. 5 out of 5

    Harold

  29. 4 out of 5

    John Handforth

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mamo

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