Sunday, August 10, 2008


"The dreamer whose dreams are non-utilitarian has no place in this world. In this world the poet is anathema, the thinker a fool, the artist an escapist, the man of vision a criminal." - Henry Miller

Henry Valentine Miller (American writer, 1891-1980) was a novelist most famous for writing "Tropic of Cancer," "Tropic of Capricorn," and "Black Spring." Shocking to some, he was a radical in style and content, and probably as infamous for his obscenity trials as his written works. Miller wrote joyously and exuberantly about sex and other taboos and shocked a prudish America. He was a cranky mandarin expat who didn't suffer fools gladly, and would just as soon spit in your eye as use a polite euphemism or censor his freewheeling imagination. Miller once said you could travel thousands of miles in America and never once taste good bread.

In 1940, George Orwell praised Miller in an essay entitled, "Inside the Whale."

"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; and after all, he is a completely negative, unconstructive, amoral writer, a mere Jonah, a passive acceptor of evil, a sort of Whitman among the corpses."

"Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and such like. To call this a society of free peoples is blasphemous. What have we to offer the world besides the superabundant loot which we recklessly plunder from the earth under the maniacal delusion that this insane activity represents progress and enlightenment?" - Henry Miller


Zen, Art & Life said...

What's up that no one comments on your Blog? You have some really cool shit on here. Are people both blind and deaf?
I'm just an old fart trying to get along and I think you have some cool stuff on your blogs.
I thank you,
Brian Howlett

Bob Rini said...

Thanks, Brian--
I appreciate the comment, and I'm glad you like the blog. I guess I've got my little niche over here and people come and read it and move on without saying much. They're not used to talking to their television, so maybe they figure this is just out there to entertain them. Thanks for the feedback!