Literary Precedents for Tropic of Cancer

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Like Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1855), Tropic of Cancer does not really have any precedents in American literature.

The travel journal and the picaresque early novel, might be vague ancestors and some of the tales of Boccaccio or Chaucer are not too distant relations.

Specific features of Miller's work do have precedents, like the lists which resemble those of Rabelais, or the catalogues found in Emerson. Ideas from Andre Breton's surrealist manifesto are present, and some of Rimbaud's symboliste aesthetique might be detected, but ultimately, this book is a mutant and basically, it belongs to a category of one.

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