“If Half The Stories About Big Sur Were True The Vibrations Of All The Orgies Would Have Collapsed The Entire Santa Lucia Mountain Range”

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In Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch, Henry Miller, that brilliant kitchen-sink philosopher, writes of being down and out in paradise and loveliness. The money owed him from books he’d published in Europe earlier in the century had vanished into the fog of war. He lived with his family a threadbare existence in the Northern California Valhalla, knowing they were as rich as they were poor. His idyll was disturbed regularly by an uninvited cult of expatriates from the air-conditioned nightmare, who wanted to pile onto the orgies and play naked ping pong. They could be charming or maddening. Miller did find the time, however, to pen incredible riffs about the future of American technology and science and politics.

If there were two writers whose hearts beat as one despite a generational divide, it would have been Miller and Hunter S. Thompson. In 1961, the Gonzo journalist penned a Rogue article about Miller in Utopia, or something like it. Despite the novelist’s larger-than-life presence, Thompson focuses mostly on the eccentricities of the singular region. I found the piece at Totallygonzo.org. Just click on the pages for a larger, readable version.