Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Henry Miller on artists and suffering

I found this wonderful Henry Miller quote on the TV series "Century of the Self" by Adam Curtis. I think its particularly relevant to artists;

"My argument with so much as psychoanalysis is the preconception that suffering is a mistake, or a sign of weakness, or a sign even of illness, when in fact, possibly the greatest truths we know have come out of people’s suffering; that the problem is not to undo suffering or to wipe it off the face of the earth but to make it inform our lives, instead of trying to cure ourselves of it constantly and avoid it, and avoid anything but that lobotomized sense of what they call “happiness.” There’s too much of an attempt, it seems to me, to think in terms of controlling man, rather than freeing him. Of defining him rather than letting him go. It’s part of the whole ideology of this age, which is power-mad."
Henry Miller 1960s

Most of the Adam Curtis documentaries are on youtube and are well worth a look.