Famous Quotes & Sayings

Henry Miller Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Henry Miller.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pinterest Share on Linkedin

Famous Quotes By Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1191276

The frantic desire to live, to live at any cost, is not a result of the life rhythm in us, but of the death rhythm. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 932897

We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 786857

It's like a man in the trenches
again: he doesn't know any more why he should go on living, because
if he escapes now he'll only be caught later, but he goes on just
the same, and even though he has the soul of a cockroach and has
admitted as much to himself, give him a gun or a knife or even just
his bare nails, and he'll go on slaughtering and slaughtering, he'd
slaughter a million men rather than stop and ask himself why. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1044665

Why are we so full of restraint? Why do we not give in all directions? Is it fear of losing ourselves? Until we do lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2114749

I might say, in passing, that my life seems to have been one long search for the Mara who would devour all the others and give them significant reality. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 190913

It's the pleasure of picking up the brush and seeing what happens. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 690556

If it be knowledge or wisdom one is seeking, then one had better go direct to the source. And the source is not the scholar or philosopher, not the master, saint, or teacher, but life itself - direct experience of life. The same is true for art. Here, too, we an dispense with the masters. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 714332

It was only in my forties that I started feeling young. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1832332

It was here in Big Sur that I first learned to say 'amen.' — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1567029

When you know what men are capable of you marvel neither at their sublimity nor their baseness. There are no limits in either direction apparently. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1832297

One never thinks of China, but it is there all the time on the tips of your fingers and it makes your nose itchy; and long afterward, when you have forgotten almost what a firecracker smells like, you wake up one day with gold leaf choking you and the broken pieces of punk waft back their pungent odor and the bright red wrappers give you a nostalgia for a people and a soil you have never known, but which is in your blood, mysteriously there in your blood, like the sense of time or space, a fugitive, constant value to which you turn more and more as you get old, which you try to seize with your mind, but ineffectually, because in everything Chinese there is wisdom and mystery and you can never grasp it with two hands or with your mind but you must let it rub off, let it stick to your fingers, let it slowly infiltrate your veins. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1160400

You have to be wiped out as a human being in order to be born again an individual. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 388121

What I really hoped for, no doubt, was to come upon one of those lives which begin nowhere, which lead us through marshes and salt flats, trickling away, seemingly without plan, purpose or goal, and suddenly emerge, gushing like geysers, and never cease gushing, even in death. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1133070

Our world is rapidly drawing to a close; a new one is about to open. If it is to flourish it will have to rest on deeds as well as faith. The word will have to become flesh. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 750936

She stood there waiting for me to approach, as though absolutely certain that I would take her by the arm and continue strolling down the avenue. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 952222

When you travel often, you will be addicted to it forever. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1374635

Analysis brings no curative powers in its train; it merely makes us conscious of the existence of an evil, which, oddly enough, is consciousness. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1885348

America is the very incarnation of doom. She will drag the whole world down to the bottomless pit. He — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 209914

Sweet or bitter, I am now convinced that all experience is enriching and rewarding. Above all, instructive. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1304468

A good meal, a good talk, a good fuck
what better way to pass the day? — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1897088

Serenity is when you get above all this, when it doesn't matter what they think, say or want, but when you do as you are, and see God and Devil as one. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 536212

This is not a book in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty ... what you will. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1716923

I didn't give a fuck whether I found anything or not. The thing is, never to be too anxious. Everything comes in due time. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2053571

Night is longing, longing, longing, beyond all endurance. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1772870

To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or a guitar. The essential thing is to want to sing. This then is a song. I am singing. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 918084

There's something depraved about screwing a woman who doesn't give a fuck about it. It heats your blood ... " And then, after a moment's meditation - "Can you imagine what she'd be like if she had any feelings? — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 713388

Day by day. No yesterdays and no tomorrows. The barometer never changes, the flag is always at half-mast. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 371633

Her words imbued it with a peculiar fragrance; it was no longer just her private organ, but a treasure, a magic, potent treasure, a God-given thing
and none the less so because she traded it day and day out for a few pieces or silver. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 778254

If now and then we encounter pages that explode, pages that wound and sear, that wring groans and tears and curses, know that they come from a man with his back up, a man whose only defenses left are his words and his words are always stronger than the lying, crushing weight of the world, stronger than all the racks and wheels which the cowardly invent to crush out the miracle of personality. If any man ever dared to translate all that is in his heart, to put down what is really his experience, what is truly his truth, I think then the world would go to smash, that it would be blown to smithereens and no god, no accident, no will could ever again assemble the pieces, the atoms, the indestructible elements that have gone to make up the world. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1195624

A world without hope, but no despair — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 137760

The poem is the dream made flesh, in a two-fold sense: as work of art, and as life, which is a work of art. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1738541

Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1916674

What we thrive on is hatred and violence; if we were a peaceable people we would have peace tomorrow. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 120993

It is the American vice, the democratic disease which expresses its tyranny by reducing everything unique to the level of the herd. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 142268

No particular reason for anything. I'm free - that's the main thing. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 177199

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. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 183205

Out yonder they may curse, revile, and torture one another, defile all the human instincts, make a shambles of creation (if it were in their power), but here, no, here, it is unthinkable, here there is abiding peace, the peace of God, and the serene security created by a handful of good neighbors living at one with the creature world. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 187769

Bomb-proof vault. Our diseases are our attachments, be they habits, ideologies, ideals, principles, possessions, phobias, gods, cults, religions, what you please. Good wages can be a disease just as much as bad wages. Leisure can be just as great a disease as work. Whatever we cling to, even if it be hope or faith, can be the disease which carries us off. Surrender is absolute: if you cling to even the tiniest crumb you nourish the germ which will devour you. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 296474

Yes, he knows how to build a fire, but I know how to inflame a cunt. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 362822

I have overspread the world like a syrup and the emptiness of it it's terrifying, but there is no dislodging the seed; the seed has become a little knot of cold fire which roars like a sun in the vast hollow of the dead carcass. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 372509

The artist is now giving a first coat of paint to that tautly stretched canvas which the scientist has been so busy stretching that he has forgotten the use he intended to put it to. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 377269

I suppose it was the worst book any man has ever written. It was a colossal tome and faulty from start to finish. But it was my first book and I was in love with it. If I had had the money, as Gide had, I would have published it at my own expense. If I had had the courage that Whitman had, I would have peddled it from door to door. Everybody I showed it to said it was terrible. I was urged to give up the idea of writing. I had to learn, as Balzac did, that one must write volumes before signing one's own name. I had to learn, as I soon did, that one must give up everything and not do anything else but write, that one must write and write and write, even if everybody in the world advises you against it, even if nobody believes in you. Perhaps one does it just because nobody believes; perhaps the real secret lies in making people believe. That the book was inadequate, faulty, bad, terrible, as they said, was only natural. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 429780

If we have not found heaven within, it is a certainty we will not find it without. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 461498

The cancer of time is eating us away — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 464947

Whatever there be of progress in life comes not through adaptation but through daring. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 491606

For the man in the paddock, whose duty is is to sweep up manure,
the supreme terror is the possibility of a world without horses. To
tell him that it is disgusting to spend one's life shoveling up hot
turds is a piece of imbecility. A man can get to love shit if his
livelihood depends on it, if his happiness is involved. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 494084

The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can't separate them. They're wedded. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 503608

To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 558348

It was the end for me. And yet not an end. In all the years which have since elapsed she remains the woman I loved and lost, the unattainable one [ ... ] I see myself forever and ever as the ridiculous man, the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the man in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable.
- Henry Miller, Stand Still like the Hummingbird (1962) — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 575179

The vast difference between astrology and other sciences, if I may put it thus, is that astrology deals not with facts but with profundities. The solid ground on which the scientist pretends to rest gives way, in astrology, to imponderables. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 617382

The most difficult thing to adjust to, apparently, is peace and contentment. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 706621

Writing is its own reward. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 781548

Alone, with tremendous empty longing and dread. The whole room for my thoughts. Nothing but myself and what I think, what I fear. Could think the most fanastic thoughts, could dance, grimace, curse, wail-nobody would ever know, nobody would ever hear. The thought of such absolute privacy is enough to drive me mad. It's like a clean birth. Everything cut away. Separate, naked, alone. Bliss and agony simultaneously. Time on your hands. Each second weighing on you like a mountain. You drown in it. Deserts, seas, lakes, oceans. Time beating away like a meat ax. Nothingness. The world. The me and the not-me. Oomaharumooma. Everything has to have a name. Everything has to be learned, tested, experencied. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 788966

In every room there is a mirror before which he stands attentively and chews his rage, and from the constant chewing, from the grumbling and mumbling and the muttering and cursing his jaws have gotten unhinged and they sag badly and, when he rubs his beard, pieces of his jaw crumble away and he's so disgusted with himself that he stamps on his own jaw, grinds it to bits with his big heels. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 789682

I'm an egotist, but I'm not selfish. There's a difference. I'm a neurotic, I guess. I can't stop thinking about myself. It isn't that I think myself so important ... I simply can't think about anything else, that's all. If I could fall in love with a woman that might help some. But I can't find a woman who interests me. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 818838

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

Henry Miller Quotes 833303

It is no accident that propels people like us to Paris. Paris is simply an artificial stage, a revolving stage that permits the spectator to glimpse all phases of the conflict. Of itself Paris initiates no dramas. They are begun elsewhere. Paris is simply an obstetrical instrument that tears the living embryo from the womb and puts it in the incubator. Paris is the cradle of artificial births. Rocking here in the cradle each one slips back into his soil: one dreams back to Berlin, New York, Chicago, Vienna, Minsk. Vienna is never more Vienna than in Paris. Everything is raised to apotheosis. The cradle gives up its babes and new ones take their places. You can read here on the walls where Zola lived and Balzac and Dante and Strindberg and everybody who ever was anything. Everyone has lived here some time or other.Nobody dies here ... — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 883625

She felt that in everything, sublime or ignoble, there was hidden a turbulent, a vital force, a significance and beauty which art, however glorious, was but a pale refection. "I want to live!" she muttered wildly. "I want to live! — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 918697

He falls on her lap and lies there quivering like a toothache — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 958968

The cradles of civilization are the putrid sinks of the world. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 968246

My hunger and curiosity drive me forward in all directions at once. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 994937

Life becomes a spectacle and, if you happen to be an artist, you record the passing show. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1001268

It's good to be just plain happy, it's a little better to know that you're happy; but to understand that you're happy and to know why and how and still be happy, be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1061533

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. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1102578

To imagine a new world is to live it daily, each thought, each glance, each step, each gesture, killing and recreating, death always a step in advance. To spit on the past is not enough. To proclaim the future is not enough. One must act as if the past were dead and the future unrealizable. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1131647

Surrealism is merely the reflection of the death process. It is one of the manifestations of a life becoming extinct, a virus which quickens the inevitable end. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1148665

What seems nasty, painful, evil can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1157375

We have scholars galore, and kings and emperors, and statesmen and military leaders, and artists in profusion, and inventors, discoverers, explorers - but where are the great lovers? After a moment's reflection one is back to Abelard and Heloise, or Anthony and Cleopatra, or the story of the Taj Mahal. So much of it is fictive, expanded and glorified by the poverty-stricken lovers whose prayers are answered only by myth and legend. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1221554

No man would set a word down on paper if he had the courage to live out what he believed in. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1231273

Down to the closest friend every man is a potential murderer. Often it wasn't necessary to bring out the gun or the lasso or the branding iron
they had found subtler and more devilish ways of torturing and killing their own. For me the most excruciating agony was to have the word annihilated before it even left my mouth. I learned, by bitter experience, to hold my tongue; I learned to sit in silence, and even smile, when actually I was foaming at the mouth. I learned to shake hands and say how do you do to all this innocent-looking fiends who were only waiting for me to sit down in order to suck my blood. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1309924

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1335641

I too love everything that flows: rivers, sewers, lava, semen, blood, bile, words, sentences. I love the amniotic fluid when it spills out of the bag. I love the kidney with it's painful gall-stones, it's gravel and what-not; I love the urine that pours out scalding and the clap that runs endlessly; I love the words of hysterics and the sentences that flow on like dysentery and mirror all the sick images of the soul ... — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1443901

The vast body of literature, in every domain, is composed of hand-me-down ideas. The question - never resolved, alas! - is to what extent it would be efficacious to curtail the overwhelming supply of cheap fodder. One thing is certain today - the illiterate are definitely not the least intelligent among us. If it be knowledge or wisdom one is seeking, then one had better go direct to the source. And the source is not the scholar or philosopher, not the master, saint, or teacher, but life itself - direct experience of life. The same is true for art. Here, too, we can dispense with 'the masters. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1464034

The universe has dwindled; it is only a block long and there are no stars, no trees, no rivers. The people who live there are dead; they make chairs which other people sit on in their dreams. In the middle of the street is a wheel and in the hub of the wheel a gallows is fixed. People already dead are trying frantically to mount the gallows, bu the wheel is turning too fast — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1485052

I believe everything you tell me, but I know that it will all turn out differently. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1496616

Real wisdom is being stored away in the subcellars by the misers of learning. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1556957

I saw the errors I had made and assumed full responsibility for everything. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1642935

That's why I like you, he would say. You're unpredictable. You have no code. Really, Henry - and he would give a hearty guffaw - you're essentially treacherous. If we ever make a new world you'll have no place in it. You don't seem to understand what it means to give and take. You're an intellectual hobo ... At times I don't understand you at all. You're always gay and affable, almost sociable, and yet ... well, you have no loyalties. I try to be friends with you ... we were friends once, you remember ... but you've changed ... you're hard inside ... you're untouchable. God, you think I'm hard ... I'm just cocky, pugnacious, full of spirits. You're the one who's hard. You're a gangster, do you know that? He chuckled. Yes, Henry, that's what you are - you're a spiritual gangster. I don't trust you. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1670360

When I look down into this fucked out cunt of a whore I feel the whole world beneath me, a world tottering and crumbling, a world used up and polished like a leper's skull. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1704744

One can see now how the idea of heaven takes hold of men's consciousness, how it gains ground even when all the props have been knocked from under it. There must be another world beside this swamp in which everything is dumped pell-mell. It's hard to imagine what it can be like, this heaven that men dream about. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1706055

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. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1726273

The world is two thirds spaghetti and meatballs, one third syphilitic chancre. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1811818

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

Henry Miller Quotes 1894428

There is no fundamental, unalterable difference between things: all is flux, all is perishable. The surface of your being is constantly crumbling; within however you grow hard as a diamond. And perhaps it is this hard, magnetic core inside you which attracts others to you willy-nilly. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1906385

I had a microscopic eye for the blemish, for the grain of ugliness which to me constituted the sole beauty of the object. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1922750

The dreamers dream from the neck up, their bodies securely strapped to the electric chair. To imagine a new world is to live it daily, each thought, each glance, each step, each gesture killing and recreating, death always a step in advance. To spit on the past is not enough. To proclaim the future is not enough. One must act as if the past were dead and the future unrealizable. One must act as if the next step were the last, which it is. Each step forward is the last, and with it a world dies, one's self included. We are here of the earth never to end, the past
never ceasing, the future never beginning, the present never ending. The never-never world which we hold in our hands and see and yet is not ourselves. We are that which is never
concluded, never shaped to be recognized, all there is and yet not the whole, the parts so much greater than the whole that only God the mathematician can figure it out. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1942607

There is no progress: there is perpetual movement, displacement, which is circular, spiral, endless. Every man has his own destiny: the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it lead him. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 1988812

Now we shall have a vessel in which to pour the vital fluid, a bomb which, when we throw it, will set off the world. We shall put into it enough to give the writers of tomorrow their plots, their dramas, their poems, their myths, their sciences. The world will be able to feed on it for a thousand years to come. It is colossal in its pretentiousness. The thought of it almost shatters us. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2078211

Unless the nightmare is strong enough to wake you up you go right on retreating, and either you end up on a bench or you end up as vice-president. It's all one and the same, a bloody fucking mess, a farce, a fiasco from start to finish. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2093156

The monstrous thing is not that men have created roses out of this dung heap, but that, for some reason or other, they should want roses. For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood. He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality. Everything is endured- disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui- in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable. And all the while a meter is running inside and there is no hand that can reach in there and shut it off. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2101184

No, there's fifteen francs somewhere, which nobody gives a damn about anymore and which nobody is going to get in the end anyhow, but the fifteen francs is like the primal cause of things and rather than listen to one's own voice, rather than walk out on the primal cause, one surrenders to the situation, one goes on butchering and butchering and the more cowardly one feels the more heroically does he behave, until a day when the bottom drops out and suddenly all the guns are silenced and the stretcher-bearers pick up the maimed and bleeding heroes and pin medals on their chest. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2102593

For a metaphysical treat stop at the Big Sur Inn, which is also a haven for stray cats and dogs. Life along the South Coast is just a bed of roses, with a few thorns and nettles interspersed. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2109100

When a situation gets so bad that no solution seems possible there is left only murder and suicide, or both. These failing, one becomes a buffoon. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2143782

Over there you think of nothing but becoming President of the United States some day. Potentially every man is Presidential timber. Here it's different. Here every man is potentially a zero. If you become something or somebody it is an accident, a miracle. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2195170

Somehow the realization that nothing was to be hoped for had a salutary effect upon me. For weeks and months, for years, in fact, all my life I had been looking forward to something happening, some extrinsic event that would alter my life, and now suddenly, inspired by the absolute hopelessness of everything, I felt relieved, felt as though a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2221406

They never opened the door which leads to the soul. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2236560

When you are convinced that all the exits are blocked, either you take to believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird. The miracle is that the honey is always there, right under your nose, only you were too busy searching elsewhere to realize it. The worst is not death but being blind, blind to the fact that everything about life is in the nature of the miraculous. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2247077

Man is not at home in the universe, despite all the efforts of philosophers and metaphysicians to provide a soothing syrup. Thought is still a narcotic. The deepest question is why. And it is a forbidden one. The very asking is in the nature of cosmic sabotage. And the penalty is - the afflictions of Job. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2261541

A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold. — Henry Miller

Henry Miller Quotes 2262959

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. — Henry Miller