Miserable Miracle by Henri Michaux
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Miserable Miracle
By Henri Michaux

Miserable Miracle

Mescaline Main

By (author) See other recent books by Henri Michaux
Introduction by Octavio Paz See other recent books by Octavio Paz
Translated by Louise Varese See other recent books by Louise Varese
Format: Paperback

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Miserable Miracle by Henri Michaux

Book Description

"This book is an exploration. By means of words, signs, drawings. Mescaline, the subject explored." In Miserable Miracle, the great French poet and artist Henri Michaux, a confirmed teetotaler, tells of his life-transforming first encounters with a powerful hallucinogenic drug. At once lacerating and weirdly funny, challenging and Chaplinesque, his book is a breathtaking vision of interior space and a piece of stunning writing wrested from the grip of the unspeakable.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781590170014
ISBN-10: 1590170016
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 127mm x 15mm)
Pages: 200
Imprint: NYRB Classics
Publisher: The New York Review of Books, Inc
Publish Date: 1-Apr-2002
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Henri Michaux

Barbarian in Asia by Henri Michaux Barbarian in Asia, Paperback (June 2016)

A wild journey to the East narrated by a writer who is "without equal in the literature of our time" (Jorge Luis Borges)

Thousand Times Broken by Henri Michaux Thousand Times Broken, Paperback (September 2014)

Three never-before-translated books from Henri Michaux from the period of his mescaline experimentation, with drawings by the author and Matta.

» View all books by Henri Michaux


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Author Biography - Henri Michaux

Henri Michaux (1899 -1984) was born in Namur, Belgium, the son of a lawyer, and educated at a Jesuit school in Brussels. He contemplated entering the priesthood, turned to the study of medicine, then left school entirely, enlisting instead as a stoker in the French merchant marine. Michaux's travels, throughout the Americas, Asia, and Africa, were to inspire his first two books, the extraordinary travelogues Ecuador and A Barbarian in Asia (later translated into Spanish by Jorge Luis Borges). Settling in Paris, Michaux began to write and paint, and his work, especially his prose poems recounting the strange and very funny misadventures of the character he called Monsieur Plume, drew the attention and praise of other writers, among them Andre Gide. In 1948 Michaux's wife died after accidentally setting her nightgown on fire; devastated, Michaux devoted himself increasingly to his distinctive calligraphic drawings in ink. He also began to take mescaline at regular intervals, recording his deeply disorienting, often traumatic experiences in a series of unflinching texts beginning with Miserable Miracle. Celebrated in France and around the world for his accomplishments as a writer and artist, Michaux remained averse to publicity and public honors throughout his life, and in 1965 refused the French Grand Prix National des Lettres. For many years the only photograph of himself that he allowed to circulate showed his right hand holding a pen over a sheet of paper on a chaotic writing desk. Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was born in Mexico City, and his extraordinarily busy and fruitful life took him from civil-war Spain to surrealist Paris, from US universities to the Mexican embassy in New Delhi, where he served for six years as ambassador before resigning in protest after his government's suppression of student demonstrations at the 1968 Olympic Games. A great poet, Paz was also the author of many essays and a study of Mexican identity, The Labyrinth of Solitude, as well as the founder and editor of two important journals, Plural and Vuelta. Octavio Paz received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.

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