Tropic of Not Reading


I am in a bit of a reading funk and have been stuck on Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer for over a month. Part of the problem is that I can only get myself to read the book when I travel. For practically a full month, it has been over 90F (+30C) in Madrid and I don’t have air conditioning. The last thing I need is to have the lights on at night to read, making the whole house even hotter.

The other problem is that, while the story is well written and interesting, once I put it down I am simply not motivated to pick it up again. Sure, part of me must have subconsciously (or consciously) bought the book because of the naked girl on the cover. But what made the story controversial, groundbreaking and exciting a few generations ago, now makes it feel vulgar and misogynistic. It is almost as if we’ve gone full circle: from shocking because it was vulgar to no longer shocking, making it just plain vulgar.

In any event, I think I have gotten to the point of the book where I’ve gotten the point of the book. Also, because the story really has no plot or suspense, I don’t feel compelled to learn how it ends. Add to the fact that I have a very interesting roster of books on deck, and things don’t look so good for the Tropics. Only the summer heat is keeping me from moving on. Well, that and maybe complaining about torture.


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Filed under Digressions, Literature

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