By Henry Miller
“A ideal expression of Miller’s ethical point of view in addition to one in every of his awesome demonstrations of narrative ability. It offers a superb cinematic view of 2 indomitable egotists in lethal conflict.” ―The Nation
The satan in Henry Miller’s enormous Sur paradise is Conrad Moricand: “A pal of his Paris days, who, having been financed and taken over from Europe as an act of mercy by means of Mr. Miller, seems as exacting, sponging, evil, crafty and ungrateful a visitor as are available in modern literature. Mr. Miller has regularly been a extraordinary author of personality. Conrad Moricand is perhaps his masterpiece. . . .A satan in Paradise is the paintings of an outstanding novelist manqué, a novelist who has no stricter feel of shape than the divine author. . . .Fresh and intoxicating, humorous and relocating. . .” ―The instances Literary Supplement (London)
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Extra info for A Devil in Paradise
Yet he was a man of many sides, as I gradually came to discover. He had a tender skin, was extremely susceptible, particularly to disturbing emanations, and could be as fickle and emotional as a girl of sixteen. Though he was basically not fair-minded, he did his utmost to be fair, to be impartial, to be just. And to be loyal, though by nature I felt that he was essentially treacherous. In fact, it was this undefinable treachery which I was first aware of in him, though I had nothing on which to base my feelings.
It was not a “sympathetic” language to him. It was even worse than German, he thought. Fortunately, my wife spoke some French and understood a lot more, but not enough to follow a man with Moricand’s gift of speech. I couldn’t always follow him myself. Every now and then I would have to halt the flow, ask him to repeat what he had just said in simpler language, then translate it for my wife. Now and then I would forget myself and give him a spate of English, soon arrested of course by his blank look.
A paranoiac. An ambulatory paranoiac. But constant in his affections—and his hatreds. Ouais! From the time the war broke out until 1947 not a word from Moricand. I had given him up for dead. Then, shortly after we had installed ourselves in our new home on Partington Ridge, a thick envelope arrived bearing the return address of an Italian princess. In it was enclosed a letter from Moricand, six months old, which he had requested the princess to forward should she ever discover my address. He gave as his address a village near Vevey, Switzerland, where he said he had been living since the end of the war.
A Devil in Paradise by Henry Miller