Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Slightly Strange Early Second Note On The Henrys: Miller And Kissinger


In my last note I in a throwaway and a goof mentioned Henry Miller and Henry Kissinger in the same sentence breath.

But it now strikes me that these two guys can be compared and contrasted, if anyone in the know still uses that tired but true phrase.

For one they both share the same first name.

For two, my mention of them was in saying I'm now reading Miller's Tropic Of Cancer and Kissinger's World Order, an encyclopedic account of the changing nature of world orders over history.

Two more disparate books you couldn't imagine. 

But here's one: c and c, the visions of America emerging from both books: 

my take:

for Miller a literarily absurd and romantically sentimental rejection of all things American even as he laves in what it provides him; 

for Kissinger, an immigrant from an oppressed minority living in and then as a child leaving an oppressing country, the promise of freedom and opportunity to rise and do as well as his gifts and diligence enabled him to, which he did with spectacular success.

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