49 th Parallel

Wayne Arnold, Wayne Arnold
2017 unpublished
Henry Miller has long been an outlying twentieth-century American author, and has often been criticised for the alterations of his personal history in his semi-autobiographical novels. Biographers of Miller have attempted to unravel the intentional misrepresentation in Miller's novels without fully explaining why the author would choose to dissemble and yet simultaneously state that his works were truthful accounts of his life. This article explores the significance that author identity held
more » ... Miller by reexamining the economic difficulties he faced in attempting to publish. I contend that Miller's real world ability to bullshit enabled him to enliven his texts with an enhanced image of himself in order to successfully market his literary output; in doing so, the narrative form constructed out of Miller-the-author's monetary struggles is shown to directly play out in Miller-the-narrator's identity. To support this argument, I examine Miller's perspective on lying and its function in art and conclude that Miller's habit of biographical distortion proved an economically viable method for reaching his readers.