Literary Birthday - 26 December - Henry Miller

Henry Miller was born 26 December 1891, and died 7 June 1980

Seven Quotes

  1. A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
  2. Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
  3. If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having.
  4. Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognise them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths.
  5. Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.
  6. Destiny is what you are supposed to do in life. Fate is what kicks you in the ass to make you do it.
  7. We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.

Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Article Source

Henry Miller was an American writer and painter. He is best-know for Tropic of CancerBlack Spring, and Tropic of Capricorn. He also wrote travel memoirs and essays about literary criticism and analysis.

 by Amanda Patterson

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