The Colossus of Maroussi (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
Logan's Staff Pick, June 2014: My personal favorite of Miller’s books, The Colossus of Maroussi offers a great deal of the passionate and mystifyingly poetic prose that’s present in all of his works, while leaving out quite a bit of the romantic escapades that led to his notorious obscenity trials in the 1960’s. What’s left is a man’s love song to a country he adored. “The light of Greece opened my eyes, penetrated my pores, expanded my whole being.”
Miller is in rare form in Colossus, and these travel experiences are a great introduction to his writing.
Like the ancient colossus that stood over the harbor of Rhodes, Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi stands as a seminal classic in travel literature. It has preceded the footsteps of prominent travel writers such as Pico Iyer and Rolf Potts. The book Miller would later cite as his favorite began with a young woman's seductive description of Greece. Miller headed out with his friend Lawrence Durrell to explore the Grecian countryside: a flock of sheep nearly tramples the two as they lie naked on a beach; the Greek poet Katsmbalis, the colossus of Miller's book, stirs every rooster within earshot of the Acropolis with his own loud crowing; cold hard-boiled eggs are warmed in a village's single stove, and they stay in hotels that have seen better days, but which have an aroma of the past.