Tropic of Cancer

Emerson quotation, preface, and introduction

In the 1961 edition, opposite the novel's title page is a quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson:[9]

These novels will give way, by and by, to diaries or autobiographies—captivating books, if only a man knew how to choose among what he calls his experiences that which is really his experience, and how to record truth truly.[10]

The 1961 edition includes an introduction by Karl Shapiro written in 1960 and titled "The Greatest Living Author". The first three sentences are:

I call Henry Miller the greatest living author because I think he is. I do not call him a poet because he has never written a poem; he even dislikes poetry, I think. But everything he has written is a poem in the best as well as in the broadest sense of the word.[10]:v–xxx

Following the introduction is a preface written by Anaïs Nin in 1934, which begins as follows:

Here is a book which, if such a thing were possible, might restore our appetite for the fundamental realities. The predominant note will seem one of bitterness, and bitterness there is, to the full. But there is also a wild extravagance, a mad gaiety, a verve, a gusto, at times almost a delirium.[10]:xxxi–xxxiii

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