H. Miller Tropics
“Every man is working out his destiny in his own way and nobody can be of any help except by being kind, generous, and patient.” H. Miller
“I hear not a word because she is beautiful and I love her and now I am happy & willing to die.” H. Miller – Tropic of Cancer (1934)
“I earnestly counsel anyone who has not done so to read at least Tropic of Cancer. With a little ingenuity, or by paying a little over the published price, you can get hold of it, and even if parts of it disgust you, it will stick in your memory. … Here in my opinion is the only imaginative prose-writer of the slightest value who has appeared among the English-speaking races for some years past. Even if that is objected to as an overstatement, it will probably be admitted that Miller is a writer out of the ordinary, worth more than a single glance…” Gerorge Orwell
Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980) was an American writer and painter. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of “novel” that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism, one that is distinctly always about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet is also fictional.
His works contain detailed accounts of sexual experiences. His first published book, Tropic of Cancer (1934), was banned in the United States on the grounds of obscenity. He continued to write novels that were banned; along with Tropic of Cancer, his Black Spring (1936) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939) were smuggled into his native country, building Miller an underground reputation.
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.”H. Miller – Tropic of Cancer (1934)
“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” H. Miller – Tropic of Capricorn (1939)
“Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything.” H. Miller – Tropic of Capricorn (1939)
“Take a good look at me. Now tell me, do you think I’m the sort of fellow who gives a fuck what happens once he’s dead? “ H. Miller – Tropic of Capricorn (1939)
“To be generous is to say yes before the man even opens his mouth” H. Miller
“Wagner wrote an opera titled Tristan and Yseult and in it there is a theme called Love Death theme. It is so sensual, so sexual that he was criticized for having introduced sex into music. And that was quite a few years before the appearance of Elvis Presley!”
It is estimated that Miller painted 2000 watercolors during his life, and that 50 or more major collections of Miller’s paintings exist
“I venerate van Gogh. He was a remarkable human being, a man who knew about love. His work reflects a spirit filled with light, even though his life was a tragedy in many ways.”
Miller as himself appeared in several films:
He was a “witness” (interviewee) in Warren Beatty’s 1981 film Reds.
He was featured in the 1996 documentary Henry Miller Is Not Dead that featured music by Laurie Anderson
In 1931 Paris, Anais Nin meets Henry Miller and his wife June. Intrigued by them both, she begins expanding her sexual horizons with her husband Hugo as well as with Henry and others. June shuttles between Paris and New York trying to find acting jobs while Henry works on his first major work, “Tropic of Cancer,” a pseudo-biography of June. Anais and Hugo help finance the book, but June is displeased with Henry’s portrayal of her, and Anais and Henry have many arguments about their styles of writing on a backdrop of a Bohemian lifestyle in Paris.
“The Gnostics thought the planet Earth was a cosmic mistake. I too feel that way — I’m through with this Earth before I’ve even departed from it.”
“I’ve spoken many times about the Japanese woman. I’ve praised her again and again. But I have to tell you that I think the Japanese man is the worst. The women are such delicate creatures and they’re treated abominably by the men. The Japanese men are pigs – even worse than American men.”
“More than anything the French have a profound knowledge of the ways of life. They possess a tolerance and an acceptance of the way things are. Problems are faced with intelligence, patience, and a sense of humanity. I have more respect for them than any other nationality on the face of the earth.”