Henry Miller biography

Henry Miller

Novelist, Author

1891 – 1980

36 Views

Who was Henry Miller?

Henry Valentine Miller was an American writer. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms, developing a new sort of semi-autobiographical novel that blended character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit language, sex, surrealist free association and mysticism, always distinctly about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet also fictional. His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, all of which are based on his experiences in New York and Paris, and all of which were banned in the United States until 1961. He also wrote travel memoirs and literary criticism, and painted watercolors.

Famous Quotes:

  • What we all hope in reaching for a book, is to meet a man of our own heart, to experience tragedies and delights which we ourselves lack the courage to invite, to dream dreams which will render life more hallucinating, perhaps also to discover a philosophy of life which will make us more adequate in meeting the trials and ordeals which beset us. To merely add to our store of knowledge or improve our culture, whatever that may mean, seems worthless to me.
  • The great work must inevitably be obscure, except to the very few, to those who like the author himself are initiated into the mysteries. Communication then is secondary: it is perpetuation which is important. For this only one good reader is necessary.
  • There is nothing strange about fear: no matter in what guise it presents itself it is something with which we are all so familiar that when a man appears who is without it we are at once enslaved by him.
  • It isn't the oceans which cut us off from the world -- it's the American way of looking at things.
  • Sin, guilt, neurosis --they are one and the same, the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
  • Perhaps I am still very much of an American. That is to say, na?ve, optimistic, gullible. In the eyes of a European, what am I but an American to the core, an American who exposes his Americanism like a sore. Like it or not, I am a product of this land of plenty, a believer in superabundance, a believer in miracles.
  • Civilization is drugs, alcohol, engines of war, prostitution, machines and machine slaves, low wages, bad food, bad taste, prisons, reformatories, lunatic asylums, divorce, perversion, brutal sports, suicides, infanticide, cinema, quackery, demagogy, strikes, lockouts, revolutions, putsches, colonization, electric chairs, guillotines, sabotage, floods, famine, disease, gangsters, money barons, horse racing, fashion shows, poodle dogs, chow dogs, Siamese cats, condoms, peccaries, syphilis, gonorrhea, insanity, neuroses, etc., etc.
  • The life of a creator is not the only life nor perhaps the most interesting which a man leads. There is a time for play and a time for work, a time for creation and a time for lying fallow. And there is a time, glorious too in its own way, when one scarcely exists, when one is a complete void. I mean -- when boredom seems the very stuff of life.
  • Nine-tenths of our sickness can be prevented by right thinking plus right hygiene -- nine-tenths of it!
  • The prisoner is not the one who has committed a crime, but the one who clings to his crime and lives it over and over.

Citation

Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Henry Miller." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 8 Jul 2020. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/henry_miller>.


Discuss this Henry Miller biography with the community:


We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Born
Dec 26, 1891
Yorkville
Also known as
  • Henry Valentine Miller
Parents
Spouses
Children
Nationality
  • United States of America
  • Germany
Profession
Education
  • City College of New York
Employment
  • Proofreader, Tribune Company
    (1931 - )
Lived in
  • Big Sur
    (1944 - 1962)
  • Paris
    (1930 - 1939)
Died
Jun 7, 1980
Pacific Palisades

Submitted
on July 23, 2013