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Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything.


If any man 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, Tropic of Cancer

The cancer of time is eating us away.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation ... The other eight are unimportant.

HENRY MILLER, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

I have found God, but he is insufficient.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

Paris is like a whore. From a distance she seems ravishing, you can't wait until you have her in your arms. And five minutes later you feel empty, disgusted with yourself. You feel tricked.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

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, The Cosmological Eye

The wallpaper with which the men of science have covered the world of reality is falling to tatters. The grand whorehouse which they have made of life requires no decoration; it is essential only that the drains function adequately.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

The less you notice them the more they chase after you. There's something perverse about women ... they're all masochists at heart.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

For some reason or the 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.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

We do not talk--we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newpapers, magazines, and digests.

HENRY MILLER, "The Shadows," The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

When I reflect that the task which the artist implicitly sets himself is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life, then it is that I run with joy to the great and imperfect ones, their confusion nourishes me, their stuttering is like divine music to my ears.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

New York is cold, glittering, malign. The buildings dominate. There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit. A constant ferment, but it might just as well be going on in a test tube. Nobody knows what it's all about. Nobody directs the energy. Stupendous. Bizarre. Baffling. A tremendous reactive urge, but absolutely uncoordinated.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

Without a Coca-Cola life is unthinkable.

HENRY MILLER, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

New York! The white prisons, the sidewalks swarming with maggots, the breadlines, the opium joints that are built like palaces, the kikes that are there, the lepers, the thugs, and above all, the ennui, the monotony of faces, streets, legs, houses, skyscrapers, meals, posters, jobs, crimes, loves ... A whole city erected over a hollow pit of nothingness.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

Certainly paradise, whatever, wherever it be, contains flaws. (Paradisical flaws, if you like.) If it did not, it would be incapable of drawing the hearts of men or angels.

HENRY MILLER, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

Man torturing man is a fiend beyond description. You turn a corner in the dark and there he is. You congeal into a bundle of inanimate fear. You become the very soul of anaesthesia. But there is no escaping him. It is your turn now.

HENRY MILLER, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

It seems to me that it is a very simple error which the surrealists are guilty of; they are trying to establish an Absolute. They are trying with all the powers of consciousness to usher in the glory of the Unconscious. They believe in the Devil but not in God. They worship the night but refuse to worship the day. They talk of magic but they practice voodooism. They await the miracle, but they do nothing to assist it, to bring about an accouchement. They talk of ushering in a general confusion but they live like the bourgeoisie. A few of them have committed suicide, but none of them has yet assassinated a tyrant. The believe in the revolution but there is no real revolt in them.

HENRY MILLER, The Cosmological Eye

Life, as it is called, is for most of us one long postponement.

HENRY MILLER, "The Enormous Womb", The Wisdom of the Heart

The world has not to be put in order: the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order, to know what is the world order in contradistinction to the wishful-thinking orders which we seek to impose on one another.

HENRY MILLER, "Creation", Henry Miller on Writing

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

HENRY MILLER, The Wisdom of the Heart


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