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Stand Still Like the Hummingbird (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – June 17, 1962


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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook
  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (June 17, 1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811203220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811203227
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Henry Miller (1891—1980) was one of the most controversial American novelists during his lifetime. His book, The Tropic of Cancer, was banned in the some U.S. states before being overruled by the Supreme Court. New Directions publishes several of his books.

More About the Author

HENRY MILLER (1891-1980) was an American writer and painter infamous for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of "novel" that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism, one that is distinctly always about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet is also fictional. His most characteristic works of this kind are "Tropic of Cancer," "Tropic of Capricorn," and "Black Spring." His books were banned in the United States for their lewd content until 1964 when a court ruling overturned this order, acknowledging Miller's work as literature in what became one of the most celebrated victories of the sexual revolution.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Of course, this piece is written with subtle sarcasm throughout.
"timmyjones"
Henry Miller is clearly one of the most significant, relevant, and entertaining writers of the 20th Century.
Lee Underwood
If you are someone who wants to think out-of-the-box and in depth, this book is for you.
Mary V. Mumaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Michail Kyril on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
These highly readable pieces reflect the incredible vitality and variety of interests of the writer who extended the frontiers of modern literature. If you think the New Thought movement has some Ancient Wisdom roots, you will enjoy this collection of stories and essays. If you have read, even occasionally, Henry David (Thoreau), Ralph Waldo (Emerson), Uncle Walt (Whitman), this volume is for you. Henry Miller says nothing here either more offensive or less insightful than these three Transcendentalists who lived before him.
Miller's genius for comedy is at its best in "Money and How It Gets That Way"-a tongue-in-cheek parody of "economics" provoked by a postcard from Ezra Pound which asked if he had "ever thought about money." Stand Still Like the Hummingbird provides a right and perfect metaphor for this outstanding collection, one of Henry's Miller's most luminous statements of his personal philosophy of life. Much of this book, while previously published, appeared only in foreign magazines or in small limited editions which have gone out of print.
If you're an artist (starving or successful), you'll appreciate Miller's deep concern for the role of artist in society, in "An Open Letter to All and Sundry," and in "The Angel Is My Watermark." If you're a writer (struggling to be or already published), you'll find inspiration in words like these, scattered like gemstones--generous and true-throughout these pages: "...when you are convinced that all the exits are blocked, either you take to believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird. The miracle is that the honey is always there, right under your nose, only you were too busy searching elsewhere to realize it.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By "timmyjones" on March 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this book, Miller presents a series of essays of various topics, including his friends, other artists, and Miller's social concerns. The longest piece is "Money and how it gets that way". Of course, this piece is written with subtle sarcasm throughout. Although the longest piece of the book, it doesnt stand out as the best, and in fact, doesnt seem to fit in with the rest of the essays. In the other essays, Miller demonstrates his ability to exploit what is powerful and life-affirming, laughing off all that is refined, petty, and weak. This comes out especially in the essays on fellow writers. There is an essay on Thoreau, Miller writes: "He found Walden, but Walden is everywhere if man is there". It is this sort of formula that is constant throughout both "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird" and the rest of Miller's work: There is something positive and life-affirming everywhere so long as one is alive, it is only a matter of recognizing the greatness of life itself. Although not naively bashing all forms of technology, Miller urges us in "The Hour of Man" to take the time to return the basics and discover not technology, but ourselves, our families, and our friends. As Miller explores that which affirms life, he also takes the time to present piercing criticisms directed at those who are petty, controlling, and all too caught up in the rat-race; for example, he writes: "What, moreover, can you call your own? The house you live in, the food you swallow, the clothes you wear-you neither built the house nor raised the food nor made the clothes. The same goes for your ideas. You moved into them ready-made".Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mary V. Mumaw on April 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Henry Miller was so far ahead of his time it's amazing, or maybe it is simply that Henry Miller is timeless. The writing is glorious, the thinking is startling in it's clarity and his wisdom and understanding of what it is to live as a human being is needed in our current world more than ever. If you are a writer and desire to read what a master 'voice' is, this book is for you. If you are someone who wants to think out-of-the-box and in depth, this book is for you. If you want your mind activated intellectually and creatively, this book is for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tricia Hauser on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have owned this book for about three months now and I have read and re-read it so much already that its starting to fall apart. What can I say... its just that good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Avid Learner on August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I'm always enthralled by Henry Miller quotes on my Zen Calendar. Miller was one brilliant, insightful, prophetic man. The essays cover a wide range of topics and never fail to make me think, deeply, and feel myriad emotions. I find it particularly fascinating to read thoughts from fifty+ years ago that are pertinent to today's world. One thing I notice is that he didn't seem to think much of women, and this is a bit hard to swallow. It seems clear to me that he was a wounded man with much emotion and depth to express. I find it hard to put this book down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this for the first time while on a nine day stint in the hospital. I have loved every Miller book I have read so far, this one is no exception. When I came out of the hospital, I literally had been physically healed, and while doing so had a new lease on my creative life as well.... thanks again Henry.
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