“To write, Miller always required an air of the literary, and Crazy Cock supplies the blueprint.” The New York Times Book Review
978-0-8021-3293-2 • $13.00 • Paperback • Sep. 1992
In 1930 Henry Miller moved from New York to Paris, leaving behind—at least temporarily—his tempestuous marriage to June Smith and a novel that he had fully expected to be his masterpiece. Begun in 1927, and originally titled Lovely Lesbians, Crazy Cock sprang from his anguish over June’s love affair with a mysterious woman called Jean Kronski. Purging himself of this pain through the writing of Crazy Cock helped Miller to discover his true voice a few years later in Tropic of Cancer.
Rediscovered in 1988 by Miller biographer Mary V. Dearborn, Crazy Cock is the tale of Tony Bring, as Miller calls himself in the book, a writer bewildered by his independent wife, Hildred, and the sordid world of Greenwich Village in the 1920s. His bourgeois upbringing and inclinations are shaken when Hildred announces that her dear friend Vanya, a woman taken with the arts and men’s clothes, is coming to live with them. As Tony learns the truth—that Hildred and Vanya are indeed lovers—the tale descends into their sexual souls. In a world swirling with violence, sex, and passion, the three struggle with their desires, inching ever nearer to insanity, each unable to break away from this dangerous and consuming love triangle.
Crazy Cock is both a historical and a literary addition to the canon of Henry Miller, one of the world’s most original and deeply human novelists.