Welcome to our collection of quotes by Henry Miller. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980) was an American writer and artist. 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). He also wrote travel memoirs and literary criticism, and painted watercolors.
I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.
either you take in believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird.
Nine-tenths of our sickness can be prevented by right thinking plus right hygiene -- nine-tenths of it!
We invent nothing, truly. We borrow and re-create. We uncover and discover. All has been given, as the mystics say. We have only to open our eyes and hearts, to become one with that which is.
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music -- the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
Man has demonstrated that he is master of everything -- except his own nature.
Every man has his own destiny. The only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him.
I haven't any allegiance, any responsibilities, any hatreds, any worries, any prejudices, any passion. I'm neither for nor against. I'm a neutral.
One can fight evil but against stupidity one is helpless.
Each man has his own way of being himself and of saying it so ultimately that he can't be denied.
Art consists in going the full length. If you start with the drums you have to end with dynamite, or TNT.
Make me into any fantastic shape, use all your art, exhaust your lung-power -- still I shall only be a thing fabricated, at the best a beautiful cultured soul.
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.
The secret to a happy life is having lots of interests. Interests are ammunition against despair.
Kafka's long nightmares were but a preparation for the actual horrors we were to experience even to a greater degree.
History is the myth, the true myth, of man's fall made manifest in time.
A beautiful nap this afternoon that put velvet between my vertebrae.
In her tight-fitting Persian dress, with turban to match, she looked ravishing.
Everything remains unsettled forever, depend on it.
Who wants to be a hundred? What's the point of it? A short life and a merry one is far better than a long one sustained by fear, caution, and perpetual medical surveillance.
In this chthonian world the only thing of importance is orthography and punctuation. It doesn't matter what the nature of the calamity is, only whether it is spelled right.
The world is always dying and always coming back to life. Tide and pulse, and with the turn of the tide a touch of mystery.
I had a microscopic eye for the blemish, for the grain of ugliness which to me constituted the sole beauty of the object.
I used to think a bird couldn't fly if its wings got wet.
The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can't separate them. They're wedded.
The only law which is really lived up to wholeheartedly and with a vengeance is the law of conformity.
I am not drunk, and I am not sentimental, and I tell you you are the most wonderful woman in the world.
The Englishman, be it noted, seldom resorts to violence; when he is sufficiently goaded he simply opens up, like the oyster, and devours his adversary.
He was an incurable dandy living the life of a beggar. And living wholly in the past!
It's the pleasure of picking up the brush and seeing what happens.
I have made a silent compact with myself not to change a line of what I write. I am not interested in perfecting my thoughts, nor my actions.
Cluster together like stars!
I read to be taken out of myself, to become ecstatic.
The enchanting, and sometimes terrifying, thing is that the world can be so many things to so many different souls. That it can be, and is, all these things at once and the same time.
I feel that America is essentially against the artist, that the enemy of America is the artist, because he stands for individuality and creativeness, and that's un-American somehow.
The Frenchman is first and foremost a man. He is likeable often just because of his weaknesses, which are always thoroughly human, even if despicable.
If one believes, then miracles occur.
By choosing to live above the ordinary level we create extraordinary problems for ourselves.
The most difficult thing to adjust to, apparently, is peace and contentment.
The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself.
I'm delirious because I'm dying so fast.
Jump off. You are a protected individual. Do not fear.
Keep your exclamation points under control!
We don't trust our five senses; we rely on our critics and educators, all of whom are failures in the realm of creation.
All my good reading, you might say, was done in the toilet.
I soon found out you can't change the world. The best you can do is to learn to live with it.
People used to envy me my inspiration. I hate inspiration. It takes you over completely. I could never wait until it passed and I got rid of it.
What is an artist? He's a man who has antennae, who knows how to hook up to the currents which are in atmosphere, in the cosmos.
Either you take in believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird.
The man who is intoxicated with life does not pass judgment, does not seek to come to a conclusion, does not impose his message on the world.
Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end.
What seems nasty, painful, evil can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.
Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes.
Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
To paint is to love again, and to love is to live life to the fullest.
The goal of life is not to possess power but to radiate it.
The world is two thirds spaghetti and meatballs, one third syphilitic chancre.
I demanded a realm in which I should be both master and slave at the same time: The world of art is the only such realm.
Day by day. No yesterdays and no tomorrows. The barometer never changes, the flag is always at half-mast.
The piano bar is the gateway to the halls of masturbation.