Henry Miller was above all a writer.
He broke with existing literary forms and developed a new sort of novel that is a mixture of fiction, autobiography, social criticism, philosophy, surrealist free association, and mysticism.
But don’t just take our word for it…
|“I think he’s the greatest American writer,” Bob Dylan, in a 1978 Playboy interview.|
|(Tropic of Cancer is) “one of the ten or twenty great novels of our century, a revolution in consciousness equal to The Sun Also Rises,” Norman Mailer in his book on Miller, Genius and Lust.|
|“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,” George Orwell, Inside the Whale.
|“What Henry had that others so resented was wholeness…His exuberance, the happiness that comes across in his work, was visible in him even when he was old and ill.
“The voice he found expressed the abundance of the man. It was not the sex the puritans hated and feared. It was the abundance,” Erica Jong from The Devil at Large.
|Miller is responsible for the “free speech that we now take for granted in literature,” James M. Decker, author of Henry Miller: New Perspectives|
|“I rarely went on the road without one of Miller’s books in my backpack. A man I never met kept me company and became my traveling companion and friend.
“I read Henry Miller and I never wanted to sleep again,” Henry Rollins.
|“The veteran author of many books whose originality and richness of technique are matched by the variety and daring of his subject matter. His boldness of approach and intense curiosity concerning man and nature are unequalled in the prose literature of our times,” The American Institute of Arts and Letters, upon inducting Henry in 1958.|
|“A momentous event in the history of modern writing,” Samuel Beckett on Tropic of Cancer.|
|“One of the five greatest travel books of all time,” author Pico Iyer on Colossus of Maroussi.|
|“Why read Miller now? His voice is as fresh and personal as when he wrote his first letter to a Brooklyn friend.
“You will feel as you read Miller that you are in company with a man who has acquired wisdom through suffering, that he is sharing his experience with you out of love. You will know you are in the presence of a spirit who was willing to embrace life at both its darkest and brightest extremes.
“His message of self-realization as the goal of life is timeless,” Arthur Hoyle, author of The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur.
|“I have carefully and painstakingly read the book from cover to cover. Applying the law applicable to the book.
“I am irresistibly led to the conclusion that the book is obscene, indecent, and impure,” Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Lewis Goldberg, upon declaring Tropic of Cancer obscene, 1961.