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Top 450 Henry Miller Quotes (2023 Update)
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Henry Miller Quote: “I was lonely amidst a world of things lit up by phosphorescent flashes of cruelty. I was delirious with an energy which could not be unleashed except in the service of death and futility.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Going through the pass, which demands a sort of swastika maneuvering in order to debouch free and clear on the high plateau, I had the impression of wading through phantom seas of blood; the earth was not parched and convulsed in the usual Greek way but bleached and twisted as must have been the mangled, death-stilled limbs of the slain who were left to rot and give their blood here in the merciless sun to the roots of the wild olives which cling to the steep mountain slope with vulturous claws.”
Henry Miller Quote: “I was polluting the bed with dreams.”
Henry Miller Quote: “No, we are never alone. But one has to live apart to know it for the truth.”
Henry Miller Quote: “To make the world laugh is one thing; to make it happy is quite another. Nobody has even succeeded in doing it.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Perhaps I have not lined his portrait too clearly. But if he exists, if only for the reason that I have imagined him to be. He came from the blue and returns to the blue. He has not perished, he is not lost. Neither will he be forgotten.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Such a healthy, simple, approving glance as if he were saying to himself: “Ah, spring is coming!” And God knows, when spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise.”
Henry Miller Quote: “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.”
Henry Miller Quote: “It’s terrible to be civilized, because when you come to the end of the world you have nothing to support the terror of loneliness.”
Henry Miller Quote: “She rises up out of a sea of faces and embraces me, embraces me passionately – a thousand eyes, noses, fingers, legs, bottles, windows, purses, saucers all glaring at us an we in each other’s arm oblivious. I sit down beside her and she talks – a flood of talk. Wild consumptive notes of hysteria, perversion, leprosy. I hear not a word because she is beautiful and I love her and now I am happy and willing to die.”
Henry Miller Quote: “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. Meaningless. Absolute meaningless.”
Henry Miller Quote: “You must be life for me to the very end,” so he writes. “That is the only way in which to sustain my idea of you. Because you have gotten, as you see, tied up with something so vital to me, I do not think I shall ever shake you off. Nor do I wish to. I want you to live more vitally every day, as I am dead. That is why, when I speak of you to others, I am just a bit ashamed. It’s hard to talk of one’s self so intimately.”
Henry Miller Quote: “I believe everything you tell me, but I know that it will all turn out differently.”
Henry Miller Quote: “The ten-o’ clock breakfasters began to appear: nervous, little men, morose, preoccupied, who wiped their plates with crusts of bread; rude, massive women who, like primitive idols dug out of the soil, had grown rotten in the years; flowery dandies with repulsive faces, reminding him uncomfortably of illustrations in medical tracts.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Reality is not protected or defended by laws, proclamations, ukases, cannons and armadas. Reality is that which is sprouting all the time out of death and disintegration.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Life becomes a spectacle and, if you happen to be an artist, you record the passing show.”
Henry Miller Quote: “The moment I stepped on the American boat which was to take me to New York I felt I was in another world. I was among the go-getters again, among the restless souls, who, not knowing how to live their own life, wish to change the world for everybody.”
Henry Miller Quote: “The Greek knows how to live with his rags: they don’t utterly degrade and befoul him as in other countries I have visited.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Instead of asking ‘How much damage will the work in question bring about?’ why not ask ‘How much good? How much joy?’”
Henry Miller Quote: “A simple phrase may record a year’s struggle.”
Henry Miller Quote: “This isn’t the place to complain about the punctilio of prison regimes. I know that they have to take every precaution. All I wish to convey is the effect which this individual had upon me. Months have passed since the incident and yet I can’t forget his face, his manner, his whole being. He’s a man, and I say it calmly and soberly, whom I could kill in cold blood. I could shoot him down in the dark and go quietly about my business, as if I had just brushed a mosquito off my arm.”
Henry Miller Quote: “In the egocentric prism the helpless victim is walled in by the very light which he refracts. The ego dies in its own glass cage...”
Henry Miller Quote: “Often she would lock herself in her room and sitting before the mirror, apply the makeup of John Barrymore, Barrymore of The Sea Beast or of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Seeing these gruesome images in the mirror she would being to rave. “Who am I?” she would say. “What am I?”
Henry Miller Quote: “The poet speaks only to the poet. Spirit answereth spirit. The rest is hogwash.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Tell me what it is that man can build, to protect himself, which other men cannot destroy? What are we trying to defend? Only what is old, useless, dead, indefensible. Every defense is a provocation to assault. Why not surrender? Why not give – give all? It’s so damned practical, so thoroughly effective and disarming.”
Henry Miller Quote: “And inevitably there always crept into our discussions the figure of Whitman, that one lone figure which America has produced in the course of her brief life. In Whitman the whole American scene comes to life, her past and her future, her birth and her death. Whatever there is of value in America Whitman has expressed, and there is nothing more to be said.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Maybe I only thought I was in love. Maybe I was simply hungry, lonely, a clay pigeon any one could put away with a toy pistol.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Zeven jaar lang heb ik dag en nacht met slechts een gedachte voor mijn geest rongelopen – haar. Als er maar een christen was die zo trouw aan zijn God was als ik aan haar, dan zouden we vandaag allemaal Jezus Christus zijn. Dag en nacht dacht ik aan haar, zelfs als ik haar bedroog.”
Henry Miller Quote: “I tried to look earnest, but I only succeeded in looking pathetic.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Heroism and obscenity appear no more important in the life of the universe than the fighting or mating of a pair of insects in the woods. All is on the same plane.”
Henry Miller Quote: “I expected so much, so much of the world and it all fell short.”
Henry Miller Quote: “When one spends what he has on himselef, when one has a thoroughly good time with his own money, people are apt to say “he doesn’t know what to do with his money.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Better to separate than never to marry.”
Henry Miller Quote: “We are, most of us, sleepwalkers, and we die without ever opening our eyes.”
Henry Miller Quote: “I like the monologue even more than the duet, when it is good. It’s like watching a man write a book expressly for you: he writes it, reads it aloud, acts it, revises it, savours it, enjoys it, enjoys your enjoyment of it, and then tears it up and throws it to the winds. It’s a sublime performance, because while he’s going through with it you are God for him – unless you happen to be an insensitive and impatient dolt. But in that case the kind of monologue I refer to never happens.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Can you stop dead, and without thinking, radiate the truth which you know?”
Henry Miller Quote: “I like the one about the little soulworms that fly out of the nest for the resurrection.”
Henry Miller Quote: “She wanted them to argue with her, to gush, to rhapsodize. She wanted them to sparkle, not to chew. Words... words... words... She gobbled them up, spewed them out again, added them up, juggled them, nursed them along, carried them to bed and put them under the pillow like soiled pajamas, slept on them, snored over them. Words... When every other memory of her had fled there would remain-HER WORDS.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Music is a beautiful opiate, if you don’t take it too seriously.”
Henry Miller Quote: “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 Quote: “To taste it once is to taste it forever – life or death. Whichever way the coin flips is right, so long as you hold no stakes.”
Henry Miller Quote: “He falls on her lap and lies there quivering like a toothache.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Men are lonely and out of communication with one another because all their inventions speak only of death. Death is the automaton which rules the world of activity. Death is silent, because it has no mouth. Death has never expressed anything. Death is wonderful too – after life.”
Henry Miller Quote: “If you can’t give the is-ness of a thing give the not-ness of it! The main thing is to hook up, get the wheels turning, sound off. When your brakes jam, try going in reverse. If often works.”
Henry Miller Quote: “The whole world seemed to unroll like a pornographic film whose tragic theme is impotence.”
Henry Miller Quote: “Some of the things you say are sublime and monstrous at once.”
Henry Miller Quote: “To walk in money through the night crowd, protected by money, lulled by money, dulled by money, the crowd itself a money, the breath money, no least single object anywhere that is not money, money, money everywhere and still not enough, and then no money, or a little money or less money or more money, but money, always money, and if you have money or don’t have money it is the money that counts and money makes money, but what makes money make money?”
Henry Miller Quote: “Even if one’s whole life were a mistake, there is always time to change.”
Henry Miller Quote: “It’s like saying to a drowning man: What a pity, what a pity! If you had only let me teach you how to swim! Everybody wants to right the world, nobody wants help his neighbor. They want to make a man of you without taking your body into consideration. It’s all cockeyed.”
Henry Miller Quote: “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.”
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