Sexus

Sexus

Book - 1987
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Publisher: New York, NY : Grove / Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987.
Characteristics: 506 pages

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jackseney May 05, 2015

(Mild spoiler alerts for the following) For some reason, no one seems to want to put Henry Miller's "Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy" (Sexus, Plexus and Nexus) into one simple volume. This is the first of it, anyway. Miller's hit-and-miss abilities are on full display here and in the whole trilogy. Inspiring in the sense that Miller can write without much coherence yet still be called brilliant by some, the trilogy starts strong here with Miller convincingly portraying his maddening love for "Mona" (her name is strangely subject to change in "Sexus," but she is the real-life June Mansfield). Then his writing wanders off to describe his ideas about mankind and his shenanigans with his friends - some of whom, like the artist "Ulric," are much more interesting than others - in 1920s New York, before and after he finally wins "Mona." Miller's rambling about all and sundry is entirely more involving than the sex here, the latter seeming alternately contrived or plain boring (THIS is what some people wanted to ban, and others made a big "free speech" cause of?). "Sexus" ends, bizarrely, with Miller as Mona's almost literal pet dog, complete with barking. What will become of him and his stated desire to be a great writer is the "cliffhanger" for the next two books. Never mind that they were written several years later!

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lukasevansherman
Jan 20, 2015

Volume one of Miller's Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, which comprises "Sexus," "Nexus," and "Plexus." Along with the Tropic books, it's his most influential and significant work. You can admire Miller's liberating power without really liking his messy, sprawling style and depictions of sex, which are hyper-masculine and a bit ridiculous. For such a supposed free spirit, he comes off as rather conservative on sex, with the man always coming off as the powerful sex god and the woman as merely an object to be used. This is one of those books that feels as if weren't edited at all, which certainly influenced the Beats, mostly for the worst.

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mariednguyen
Sep 27, 2013

Sexus (1949) describes the break-up of Miller’s first marriage as he meets, falls in love with and marries his second wife, the captivating and mysterious dancer Mona (June). At the beginning of Sexus, Miller is 33 years old. June is at first called Mara, but at the beginning of chapter 8, and for the remainder of the trilogy, her name is changed to Mona. Miller states that this is under the influence of his friend Dr. Kronski, and that the name change accompanied "other, more significant changes." She is one who has changed many details of her life: "her name, her birthplace, her mother, her upbringing, her friends, her tastes, even her desires."

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