2     



Henry Miller

  • American author
  • Born December 26, 1891
  • Died June 7, 1980

Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980) was an American writer. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new type of semi-autobiographical novel that blended character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, stream of consciousness, explicit language, sex, surrealist free association, and mysticism. His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, which are based on his experiences in New York and Paris (all of which were banned in the United States until 1961).


Every man with a bellyful of the classics is an enemy to the human race.

Every man with a bellyful of the classics is an enemy to the human race.




Back of every creation, supporting it like an arch, is faith. Enthusiasm is nothing: it comes and goes. But if one believes, then miracles occur.




It does me good to write a letter which is not a response to a demand, a gratuitous letter, so to speak, which has accumulated in me like the waters of a reservoir.




No matter how vast, how total, the failure of man here on earth, the work of man will be resumed elsewhere. War leaders talk of resuming operations on this front and that, but man's front embraces the whole universe.




The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.




The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts. An immense difference.




Any genuine philosophy leads to action and from action back again to wonder, to the enduring fact of mystery.




The legal system is often a mystery, and we, its priests, preside over rituals baffling to everyday citizens.




The tragedy of it is that nobody sees the look of desperation on my face. Thousands and thousands of us, and we're passing one another without a look of recognition.




Man has demonstrated that he is master of everything except his own nature.




The waking mind is the least serviceable in the arts.




The worst sin that can be committed against the artist is to take him at his word, to see in his work a fulfillment instead of an horizon.




Until we accept the fact that life itself is founded in mystery, we shall learn nothing.




In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.




Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.




The world is the mirror of myself dying.




The real enemy can always be met and conquered, or won over. Real antagonism is based on love, a love which has not recognized itself.




The new always carries with it the sense of violation, of sacrilege. What is dead is sacred; what is new, that is different, is evil, dangerous, or subversive.




We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.




To live without killing is a thought which could electrify the world, if men were only capable of staying awake long enough to let the idea soak in.




Art is only a means to life, to the life more abundant. It is not in itself the life more abundant. It merely points the way, something which is overlooked not only by the public, but very often by the artist himself. In becoming an end it defeats itself.




Los Angeles gives one the feeling of the future more strongly than any city I know of. A bad future, too, like something out of Fritz Lang's feeble imagination.




The real leader has no need to lead - he is content to point the way.




Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.




If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.




Music is a beautiful opiate, if you don't take it too seriously.




Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.




One can be absolutely truthful and sincere even though admittedly the most outrageous liar. Fiction and invention are of the very fabric of life.




In the beginning was the Word. Man acts it out. He is the act, not the actor.




In expanding the field of knowledge we but increase the horizon of ignorance.




The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.




In the attempt to defeat death man has been inevitably obliged to defeat life, for the two are inextricably related. Life moves on to death, and to deny one is to deny the other.




One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one.




The Teutons have been singing the swan song ever since they entered the ranks of history. They have always confounded truth with death.




The concert is a polite form of self induced torture.




Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.



     2