FEATURE image: Henry Miller, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1940. Public Domain. This work is from the Carl Van Vechtan Photographs collection at the Library of Congress. According to the library, there are noi known copyright restrictions on the use of this work. As the restrictions on this collection expired in 1986, the Library of Congress believes this image is in the public domain. However, the Carl Van Vechten estate has asked that use of Van Vechten’s photographs “preserve the integrity” of his work, i.e, that photographs not be colorized or cropped, and that proper credit is given to the photographer.
We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it, it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it, it means danger, revolution, anarchy. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945).
The world dies over and over again, but the skeleton always gets up and walks. The Wisdom of the Heart, “Uterine Hunger,” (1941).
Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and the 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? The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Preface (1945) on the people of the U.S.
Perhaps I am still very much an American. That is to say, naïve, optimistic, gullible…In the eyes of a European, what am I but an American to the core, an American who exposes his Americanism like a sore. Like it or not, I am a product of this land of plenty, a believer in superabundance, a believer in miracles. Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch (part 3), “Paradise Lost,” 1957.
The mission of man on earth is to remember. To remember to remember. To taste everything in eternity as once in time. Remember to Remember, 1947.
Everything which evokes raptures from me, in connection with France, springs from the recognition of her Catholicity. Remember to Remember, 1947.
To make whole, universal, to include everything, that is the pristine sense of being catholic. It is the attitude which the healer adopts. Remember to Remember, 1947.
I began to realize that I was living in a treasure garden, the garden of France at which the whole world casts loving, yearning glances. Remember to Remember, 1947.
To penetrate the spirit of France one has to examine her art; it is there she reveals herself absolutely. Remember to Remember, 1947.
The obsession for beauty, for order, for clarity – why should I not add “for charity”? – that is what underlies the spirit of creation, which is the true seat of resistance. Remember to Remember, 1947.
The [artists] are, as we have been told so often, the eternally young. They ally themselves with all that endures, with that which triumphs even over defeat. Remember to Remember, 1947.
The artist is not a revolutionary, he is a rebel. Remember to Remember, 1947.