"Such apostasy creeps into the wide gap that separates the finishing of one novel and the start of the next. It’s less a block than a matter of profound indifference. Happiness is elsewhere. Months can go by, and then there comes a shift, a realignment. It starts with a nudge. A detail, a phrase, or a sentence can initiate the beginning of a return to the fold. It needn’t be brilliant. It only has to exude a certain kind of imaginative warmth.”
The Paris Review: "Henry Miller: The Art of Fiction, No. 28," by George Wickes (Sep. 1961)
INTERVIEWER: You said earlier there’s something inside you that takes over?
MILLER: Yes, of course. Listen. Who writes the great books? It isn’t we who sign our names. What is an artist? He’s a man who has antennae, who knows how to hook up to the currents which are in the atmosphere, in the cosmos; he merely has the facility for hooking on, as it were. Who is original? Everything that we are doing, everything that we think, exists already, and we are only intermediaries, that’s all, who make use of what is in the air. Why do ideas, why do great scientific discoveries often occur in different parts of the world at the same time? The same is true of the elements that go to make up a poem or a great novel or any work of art. They are already in the air, they have not been given voice, that’s all. They need the man, the interpreter, to bring them forth. Well, and it’s true too, of course, that some men are ahead of their time. But today, I don’t think it’s the artist who is so much ahead of his time as the man of science. The artist is lagging behind, his imagination is not keeping pace with the men of science.