Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Václav Paris

Second Advisor

Robert Higney

Third Advisor

András Kiséry


Eroticism, self, Georges Bataille, Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn


The intention of this paper is, in the first, to demonstrate that Miller’s work has been labeled ‘erotic’, and that this obscures the true contribution of his work – but that as much as it obscures his work, this label also provides us an avenue to access it. In the second, it is to explore what actually constitutes the ‘erotic’, how this is featured in Miller’s work, and how it functions as an analytic tool to reveal what is significant in that work. Lastly, with specific regard to the works Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, the intention is to examine the journey undertaken by the narrator, wherein a transition is made from an object-based eroticism to an objectless eroticism of writing – and this done with the intention of revealing the significance of Miller’s work, which is in its use as a blueprint for self-creation through an artistic practice.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.