March 05, 2009

Quiet Days in Clichy with Henry Miller

Quiet Days in Clichy, published in 1956, is a promenade in the heart of Parisian nights during the Roaring Twenties. In this autobiographical novel, Henry Miller recounts his life with his roommate Carl and refers to his women's conquests. One can recognize, in this story, the tone of the author, between modesty of feelings and raw language, which earned him to provoke huge critics. The good contrast of Brassaï's photographs which illustrate the first edition, perfectly echo with the world of Miller.
The story was twice adapted in films : in 1970, under the direction of the artist Jens Jørgen Thorsen, who leans on the text to refer to the sexual freedom of the post-68 years, and in 1990 by Claude Chabrol who focuses on the autobiographical dimension.

"I had no particular desire to go anywhere. I strolled over to the Etoile, which was only a few blocks away, and then instinctively headed down the Champs-Elysées in the direction of the Tuileries, thinking to stop somewhere along the line and have a black coffee. I felt mellow, expansive and at peace with the world."
Henri Miller - extrait de Quiet days in Clichy.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Miller (Henri). Quiet Days In Clichy. Photographs by Brassaï. Paris, The Olympia Press, 1956, in-12. First edition.