Writing Techniques in Tropic of Cancer

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Miller's "autobiographical romances" or "auto-novels" must be seen as separate chapters in a multivolume "Book" of his life. The key to his method is Emerson's dictum that novels would give way to biography, which Miller quotes as an epigraph in Tropic of Cancer. Accordingly, his major writing might be divided into a quartet including Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring (1938), The Colossus of Maroussi (1941), and Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch (1957) in which he is essentially an observer or commentator, and a triad including Tropic of Capricorn (1939), Sexus (1949), and Nexus (1960), in which he is an actor involved in the creation of his artistic consciousness.

Tropic of Cancer is the first book in this sequence, and it displays the artist/ hero as fully formed, confident of his power and judgment, and the voice in which he speaks is a product of this certainty. Its tone is striking, singular, and...

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This section contains 240 words
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