Reading Henry Miller’s Nonfiction

I recently completed reading a large collection of Henry Miller’s nonfiction writing. I much prefer it to his novels.

Below are a few of my responses to what I read and a few choice quotes:

Miller displays an unbounded enthusiasm for life and his subjects, something I rarely encounter in contemporary American nonfiction writing. I like to believe I bring an unbounded enthusiasm for my subjects: forts, rain, dogs, beaches, Oregon history, Oregon books.

I would love to write the dog book Henry Miller would have written had he ever owned dogs. Same with driftwood forts.

“Life only commences at the hour of spiritual birth—which may be at 18 or 47.”

“A really great book begins in the midriff and works outward.”

“Somebody has got to throw a monkey wrench into the works…I owe it to the American buffalo and red Indian.”

Miller wrote more about normal American life than any other writer of his era and he lived completely outside of normal American life.

“Even a puppy knows when it is being carried to a pond to be destroyed.”