Henry Miller Quotes (193 Quotes)



    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.

    I have never seen a place like Paris for varieties of sexual provender. as soon as a woman loses a front tooth or an eye or a leg she goes on the lose. In America she'd starve to death if she had nothing to recommend her but a mutilation. Here it is different. A missing tooth or a nose eaten away or a fallen womb, any misfortune that aggravates the natural homeliness of the female, seems to be regarded as an added spice, a stimulant for the jaded appetites of the male.

    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.

    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.


    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.



    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.

    All the men she's been with and now you, just you, and the barges going by, masts and hulls, the whole damned current of life flowing through you, through her, through all the guys behind you and after you, the flowers and the birds and the sun streaming in and the fragrance of it choking you, annihilating you.

    I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company

    Side by side with the human race there runs another race of beings, the inhuman ones, the race of artists who, goaded by unknown impulses, take the lifeless mass of humanity and by the fever and ferment with which they imbue it turn this soggy dough into bread and the bread into wine and the wine into song.

    And for that one moment of freedom you have to listen to all that love crap... it drive me nuts sometimes... I want to kick them out immediately... I do now and then. But that doesn't keep them away. They like it, in fact. The less you notice them the more they chase after you. There's something perverse about women... they're all masochists at heart.

    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...




    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 that only the drains function adequately. Beauty, that feline beauty that has us by the balls in America, is finished.

    But it's just because the chances are all against you, just because there is so little hope, that life is sweet over here.

    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.

    There will be more calamities, more death, more despair. Not the slightest indication of a change anywhere. The cancer of our time is eating us away. Our heroes have killed themselves, or are killing themselves.





    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.

    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.


    It is the obscene horror, the dry, fucked-out aspect of things which makes this crazy civilization look like a crater. It is this great yawning gulf of nothingness which the creative spirits and mothers of the race carry between their legs.



    I've lived out my melancholy youth. I don't give a fuck anymore what's behind me, or what's ahead of me. I'm healthy. Incurably healthy. No sorrows, no regrets. No past, no future. The present is enough for me. Day by day. Today!


    Great God! What have I turned into? What right have you people to clutter up my life, steal my time, probe my soul, suckle my thoughts, have me for your companion, confidant, and information bureau? What do you take me for? Am I an entertainer on salary, required every evening to play an intellectual farce under your stupid noses? Am I a slave, bought and paid for, to crawl on my belly in front of you idlers and lay at your feet all that I do and all that I know?


    When I realize that she is gone, perhaps gone forever, a great void opens up and I feel that I am falling, falling, falling into deep, black space. And this is worse than tears, deeper than regret or pain or sorrow, it is the abyss into which Satan was plunged. There is no climbing back, no ray of light, no sound of human voice or human touch of hand.

    I am living at the Villa Borghese. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. We are all alone here and we are dead.

    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.

    When into the womb of time everything is again withdrawn chaos will be restored and chaos is the score upon which reality is written.

    I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it. We must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and the soul.

    On the meridian of time, there is no injustice: there is only the poetry of motion creating the illusion of truth and drama.

    You can forgive a young cunt anything. A young cunt doesn't have to have brains. They're better without brains. But an old cunt, even if she's brilliant, even if she's the most charming woman in the world, nothing makes any difference. A young cunt is an investment; an old cunt is a dead loss. All they can do for you is buy you things. But that doesn't put meat on their arms or juice between their legs.

    I felt free and chained at the same time - like one feels just before election, when all the crooks have been nominated and you are beseeched to vote for the right man.

    Once I thought that to be human was the highest aim a man could have, but I see now that it was meant to destroy me. To-day I am proud to say that I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothing to do with creeds and principles. I have nothing to do with the creaking machinery of humanity - I belong to the earth!

    Your nearness is the nearness of planets. I am the void between you. If I withdraw there will be no void for you to swim in.

    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 you don't have money, it is the money that counts, and money makes money, but what makes money make money.

    Whatever needs to be maintained through force is doomed.

    I have never been able to look upon America as young and vital but rather as prematurely old, as a fruit which rotted before it had a chance to ripen.

    You can travel fifty thousand miles in America without once tasting a piece of good bread.

    What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their ability to act according to their beliefs.


    More Henry Miller Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Life - World - Art - Faces - Time - Beauty - Death & Dying - Literature - America - Money & Wealth - Mind - War & Peace - God - Society & Civilization - Love - Music - Imagination & Visualization - Sense & Perception - View All Henry Miller Quotations

    More Henry Miller Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Tropic of Cancer

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    Malcolm Gladwell - Robert Kiyosaki - Richard Carlson - Nicholas Sparks - Mary Higgins Clark - Jackie Collins - Ian Fleming - Emily Post - Charles Bukowski - Alvin Toffler


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