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What a Wonderful World!

The Henry Miller Library guarantees all guests the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. It is not the proper role of the Library to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. There are many books and stories to read, to write, to tell, and to listen to. We hope to learn from different ideas, why and how they come to be, and what values they’re premised on.

Some “binaries” that we propose on our bookshelves are the following: Capitalism vs. Socialism, Keynesian economics vs. Classical, economics, Deontology vs. Consequentialism, Empiricism vs. Rationalism, Liberalism vs. Conservatism, Democracy vs. Authoritarianism, Cartesianism vs. Darwinism, Realism vs. Romanticism, Classicism vs. Modernism, Objectivism vs. Relativism, Virtue ethics vs. Deontological ethics, Atheism vs. Theism.

Emil White

Listen to the interview of Emil’s son Stefan White

The Henry Miller Memorial Library

Created by Emil White, a longtime friend and confidant of Henry Miller. Miller dedicated “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch” to White, describing him as “One of the few friends who has never failed me.” While he is known primarily for his association with Miller, White was one of Big Sur’s most colorful characters, a brilliant painter, and a remarkable person in his own right. 

After Miller died in 1980, White decided to maintain his property as a memorial to his friend and as a gallery where local artists could show their work. In 1981, with the assistance of the Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT), he converted his home into the Library. Emil spent the rest of his life as director of the new institution, which evolved into a local center for the arts. 

At his death in 1989, White bequeathed the “Henry Miller Memorial Library, Founded by Emil White,” to the Big Sur Land Trust. “With this bequest,” White wrote in his Last Will and Testament, “I am encouraging support and maintenance of said Library, and to promote and enhance the scholarly research and worldwide enjoyment of Henry Miller’s literary and artistic works.”

Didn’t Miller Disapprove of Memorials?

Correct.  Memorials, he said, “defeated the purpose of a man’s life. Only by living your own life to the full can you honor the memory of someone.” So, is this place a memorial trying not to be a memorial? Maybe. The best way to find out is to come here, browse, look at what’s on the walls, listen to the music, have a cup of coffee or tea, sit down by the fire, read for a while, do nothing…

Interview with Library Director, Magnus Torén, on the Soul of California Podcast.

* The Henry Miller Library won the Monterey County “Champion of The Arts” award in 2013!

Monthly Poetry Series Lines Online

Dear Friends,

We are writing to thank you for your interest and support of our poetry series Lines Online, and to let you know that we will be on hiatus for June, July and August. Thankfully, this is not due to lack of interest, but because many poets use the summer months to travel, attend writing conferences or lock themselves away at a writer’s colony to focus on their work. 

As a result, lining up poets to read is a near impossible task in the summer months, especially when our standard has always been to present each month a diverse line-up of great talents from the famous to the not-famous to the soon-to-be famous. Hopefully, that’s what has brought you back to the readings month after month. So like our writers, we wish you the best during this summer break, and we hope to see you again soon online and in-person at the Library.

– Peter Serchuk, Laura Schulkind and Magnus Toren.

If you are interested in joining us for a reading please contact Laura Schulkind: