“This great guy Henry Miller who lived in the 20th century…”


From a letter that Henry Miller wrote to Michael Fraenkel, January 26 1938

And now to talk about myself a little more intimately I will tell you how I feel about the future–my future. Every day I live in three times– the past, the present and the future. The past is the springboard, the present the melting pot, and the future the delectation. I participate in all three simultaneously. For instance, when I write something I like extra well I smack my lips and look over my own shoulder. I am already with the man of 2500 A.D. or 5000 A.D., enjoying this great guy Henry Miller who lived in the 20th century. There are certain things I do which while doing them I know beforehand will be appreciated later on. I am sure of it– dead sure. I gloat over the past, I revel in the present and I make merry in the future. What it takes the ordinary man a number of incarnations– supposing there are such things– to live out, I live out in a lifetime. I have the accelerated rhythm which goes with genius. I make no bones about it– it’s a fact. I am gay inside all the time, even when I am depressed. I never doubt for a minute. Never. I am dead certain of everything. I do not even sign contracts with my publisher anymore. What for? What have I to fear, what have I to lose? I am inexhaustible. And to date nobody has ever yet done me a dirty turn. Nobody has ever cheated me, that I can say. Now and then I may do a little cheating myself–but as for the others, no, not one ever does me a dirty turn. The longer I live the less protection I demand.

(Letter signed)

Henry Lin Yutang Miller

of the Villa Seurat Library, Paris, 1938

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