The prisoner is not the one who has commited a crime, but the one who clings to his crime and lives it over and over.

Henry Miller

Henry Miller

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

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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.

The legal system is often a mystery, and we, its priests, preside over rituals baffling to everyday citizens.

I do not believe in words, no matter if strung together by the most skillful man: I believe in language, which is something beyond words, something which words give only an adequate illusion of.

What is not in the open street is false, derived, that is to say, literature.

When one is trying to do something beyond his known powers it is useless to seek the approval of friends. Friends are at their best in moments of defeat.

With every line I write I kill off the "artist" in me. With every line it is either murder in the first degree or suicide. I do not want to give hope to others, nor to inspire others. If we knew what it meant to be inspired we would not inspire. We would simply be.

Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths.

People who work themselves to the bone and when they produce young they preach to the young the gospel of work - which is nothing, at bottom, but the doctrine of inertia.

To have her here in bed with me, breathing on me, her hair in my mouth—I count that something of a miracle.

The word in your mouth is anarchy.

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.

There were lots of words which had fallen out of my vocabulary, living abroad so long.

Now we shall have a vessel in which to pour the vital fluid, a bomb which, when we throw it, will set off the world.

It's hard to know, when you're in such a jam, which is worse—not having a place to sleep or not having a place to work. One can sleep almost anywhere, but one must have a place to work. Even if it's not a masterpiece you're doing. Even a bad novel requires a chair to sit on and a bit of privacy.