New York

Dorothy Iannone

Anton Kern Gallery

In the preface accompanying Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (1934), Anaïs Nin (or, some claim, Miller ghostwriting) argues, “If there is here revealed a capacity to shock, to startle the lifeless ones from their profound slumber, let us congratulate ourselves; for the tragedy of our world is precisely that nothing any longer is capable of rousing it from its lethargy.” The long-term censorship of Miller’s work in America and Britain made clear that the book indeed had such a capacity: Tropic of Cancer was not published in the US until 1961, when it become a central object in the era’s fierce obscenity trials. American-born artist Dorothy Iannone was a key figure in overturning the ban on the distribution and circulation of Miller’s work: By informing the US Customs officials who had confiscated her copy of Tropic of Cancer that she was reading it purely for pleasure (as opposed to, say,

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