Henry Miller

United States
26 Dec 1891 // 7 Jun 1980


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To Make Happiness the Goal (1)

But it is not emancipation that the great majority seeks. When pressed, most men will admit that it takes but little to be happy. (Not that they practice this wisdom!) Man craves happiness here on ea...
Stand Still Like the Hummingbird

To Be Yourself (2)

Every time you come to the limit of what is demanded of you, you are faced with the same problem - to be yourself! And with the first step you make in this direction you realize that there is neither...
Tropic of Capricorn

What is a Fanatic? (3)

What is a fanatic? One who believes passionately and acts desperately upon what he believes. I was always believing in something and so getting into trouble. The more my hands were slapped the more f...
Tropic of Capricorn

To Love! (4)

To love! To surrender absolutely, to prostrate oneself before the divine image, to die a thousand imaginary deaths, to annihilate every trace of self, to find the whole universe embodied and enshrine...

Ideas and Action (5)

Still I can't get it out of my mind what a discrepancy there is between ideas and living. A permanent dislocation, though we try to cover the two with a bright awning. And it won't go. Ideas have to ...
Tropic of Cancer

We Enjoy Being the Slave (6)

How we hate to admit that we would like nothing better than to be the slave! Slave and master at the same time! For even in love the slave is always the master in disguise. The man who must conquer t...

The War of the Mind (7)

There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like...

I Will Show you a Great Man (8)

Show me a man who over-elaborates and I will show you a great man! What is called their 'overelaboration' is my meat: it is the sign of struggle, it is struggle itself with all the fibers clinging to...
Tropic of Cancer

Our Refusal to Face Reality (9)

It is our destiny to live with the wrong as well as the right kind of citizens, and to learn from them, the wrong-minded ones, as much or more as from others. If we have not yet succeeded -after how ...
Stand Still Like the Hummingbird

Take each Day as it Comes (10)

If at eighty you're not a cripple or an invalid, if you have your health, if you still enjoy a good walk, a good meal (with all the trimmings), if you can sleep without first taking a pill, if birds ...
Sextet: Six Essays
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."