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Amber Paulen

I Believe in Language

I obey only my own instincts and intuitions. I know nothing in advance. Often I put down things which I do not understand myself, secure in the knowledge that later they will become clear and meaningful to me. I have faith in the man who is writing, who is myself, the writer. I do not believe in words, no matter if strung together by the most skillful man: I believe in language, which is something beyond words, something which words give only an inadequate illusion of. Words do not exist separately, except in the minds of scholars, etymologists, philologists, etc. Words divorced from language are dead things, and yield no secrets. A man is revealed in his style, the language which he has created for himself. —Henry Miller, “Reflections on Writing” from Henry Miller on Writing

I’m posting this because I had a good writing morning and there are lines in it that came to me while writing (the man bothers me though):

These are powerful statements; they are the steam that keep the words moving across the page. Once, I would have thought that the more I do a particular thing, the more I would get sick of it. But writing, maybe, is like love, the more I do it, the more beautiful it and the act of it become.


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