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Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer


by Henry Miller

Tropic of Cancer Chapter 3 Summary

  • The narrator drops by to visit his friends the Cronstadts. They offer him lunch but he has too much pride to accept. The smells of food are torturing him.
  • He walks through Eglise St. Germain, past Notre Dame. Wait: what was the title of that book? A Man Cut in Slices! He wonders why he didn't come up with that title.
  • If you're feeling lost, don't worry. That's kind of the point.
  • Starving but still managing to get an erection, Miller remembers Germaine, a former lover and prostitute. He met her as he was strolling along the Boulevard Beaumarchais with some cash in his pocket—sent by his wife, who was back in the States. That's right: wife.
  • He takes her to a windowless room (romantic, right?), and becomes enthralled immediately by the way she touches herself. She's no ordinary trollop: "There was something about her eloquence at that moment and the way she thrust that rosebush under my nose which remains unforgettable" (3.13). He admires he for being "a whore all the way through, even down to her good heart" (3.16).
  • He compares Germaine to another prostitute named Claude. This one really got on his wick because she put on airs. "Who wants a delicate whore!" (3.16) he says.

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