In his great triptych The Millennium, Bosch used oranges and other fruits to symbolize the delights of Paradise. Whence Henry Miller’s title for this, one of his most appealing books; first published in 1957, it tells the story of Miller’s life on the Big Sur, a section of the California coast where he lived for fifteen years. Big Sur is the portrait of a place – one of the most colorful in the United States – and of the extraordinary people Miller knew there: writers (and writers who did not write), mystics seeking truth in meditation (and the not-so-saintly looking for sex-cults or celebrity), sophisticated children and adult innocents; geniuses, cranks and the unclassifiable, like Conrad Moricand, the “Devil in Paradise” who is one of Miller’s greatest character studies. Henry Miller writes with a buoyancy and brimming energy that are infectious. He has a fine touch for comedy. But this is also a serious book – the testament of a free spirit who has broken through the restraints and clichés of modern life to find within himself his own kind of paradise..
New Directions, 1957 (1957)