Henry Chinaski
Top Links
main detailsbiographyby votesphoto galleryquotes
by yearby typeby ratingsby votesby TV seriesby genreby keyword
Did You Know?
photo galleryquotes

Quotes for
Henry Chinaski (Character)
from Barfly (1987)

The content of this page was created by users. It has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Factotum (2005)
Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] Jan was an excellent fuck. She had a tight pussy. And she took it like it was a knife that was killing her.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] I decided to clean up the apartment. I thought I must be turning into a fag.

Henry Chinaski: All I want to do is get my check and get drunk.

[last lines]
Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs, and maybe your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery, isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance. Of how much you really want to do it. And you'll do it, despite rejection in the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods. And the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.

Pickle Factory boss: Writer huh? Are you sure?
Henry Chinaski: No, I'm not. I'm halfway through a novel.
Pickle Factory boss: What's it about?
Henry Chinaski: Everything.
Pickle Factory boss: It's about... cancer?
Henry Chinaski: Yes.
Pickle Factory boss: How about my wife?
Henry Chinaski: She's in there too.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] Amazing how grimly we hold on to our misery, the energy we burn fueling our anger. Amazing how one moment, we can be snarling like a beast, then a few moments later, forgetting what or why. Not hours of this, or days, or months, or years of this... But decades. Lifetimes completely used up, given over to the pettiest rancor and hatred. Finally, there is nothing here for death to take away.

Henry Chinaski: I lost a woman.
Old Black Man: Yeah, well, you'll have others. You'll lose them, too.

Payroll Lady: I'm sorry, sir.
Henry Chinaski: You're not sorry. You don't know what sorrow is. I do.

[first lines]
Ice Plant Supervisor: Chinaski! Hey! Chinaski, come on out here! You got a drivers license, don't you?
Henry Chinaski: Yeah.
Ice Plant Supervisor: I got a driver out sick today. We got some rush orders we need to get out right away. I need you to make these deliveries.

Henry Chinaski: [first voiceover] As we live we all get caught and torn by various traps. Writing can trap you. Some writers tend to write what has pleased their readers in the past. They hear accolades and believe them. There is only one final judge of writing and that is the writer. When he is swayed by the critics, the editors, the publishers, the readers, then he's finished. And, of course, when he's swayed with his fame and his fortune you can float him down the river with the turds.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] I wrote 3 or 4 short stories a week. I kept things in the mail. I imagined how the editors of the New Yorker must be reacting... :"Hey, here's another one from that nut!" I sent most of them to John Martin, whose magazine 'Black Sparrow' I admired.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] That scene in the office stayed with me. Those cigars, the fine clothes. I thought of good steaks, long rides up winding driveways that led to beautiful homes. Ease. Trips to Europe. Fine women.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] The racetrack crowd is the world brought down to size, life grinding against death and losing. Nobody wins finally, we are just seeking a reprieve, a moment out of the glare.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] Even at my lowest times, I can feel the words bubbling inside of me. And I had to get the words down or be overcome by something worse than death. Words not as precious things but as necessary things. Yet when I begin to doubt my ability to work the word I simply read another writer and then I know that I have nothing to worry about. My contest is only with myself: to do it right, with power and force and delight and gamble.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] A poem is a city filled with streets and sewers. Filled with saints, heros, beggars, madmen. Filled with banality and booze. Filled with rain and thunder and periods of drought. A poem is a city of war. It's a barbershop filled with cynical drunks. A poem is a city. A poem is a nation. A poem is the world.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] And then I met Jan. I bought her a drink and she gave me her phone number. Three days later I moved into her apartment.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] Pierre died shortly after that. Laura and I split up. And I never saw any of them again.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] A week later Jan moved out of my place and shacked up with some rich guy. After that I couldn't pay the rent.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] Why was I chosen to do this? Why couldn't I be inside writing editorials about municipal corruption ? Give the readers my vision of peace? Questions like these demand a deeper consideration.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] I didn't see Manny again and I missed the trips to the track with him. But I had my winnings and the bookie money. I just sat around and Jan liked that. After two weeks I was on unemployment and we relaxed and fucked and toured the bars. And every week I'd go down to the unemployment, stand in line and get my nice little check.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] I understood too well that great lovers where always men of leisure. I fucked better as a bum than as a puncher of timeclocks.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] I bought some expensive clothes and a good pair of shoes. The owner of the bike supply house didn't look so powerful anymore. Manny and I took a little longer with our lunches and came back smoking good cigars. The new life didn't sit well with Jan. She was used to her four fucks a day and also used to see me poor and humble.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] The next day at work some of the other employees asked us if we would place bets for them.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] I finally got hired at a bicycle supply warehouse. I had to demean myself to get that one. I told them that I liked to think of my job as a second home.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] We set the clock by the TV at midnight last night. We know that it gains 35 minutes every hour. It says 7:30 pm right now, but we know that's not right because it's not dark enough yet. O.K. That's 7 and a half hours 7 times 35 minutes. That's 245 minutes. One half of 35 is 17 and one half. It gives us 252 and one half minutes. O.K., that's 4 hours and 42 and one half minutes we owe them. So we set the clock back to 5:47. That's it.

Laura: Hey, you're not some kind of maniac, are you? The guy's been picking up girls, cuts crossword puzzles in their bodies with a pen knife...
Henry Chinaski: How? I write. I'm not him.
Laura: Then there are guys who fuck you and chop you into little pieces. You find your ass in a drain pipe in the ocean or a trash can downtown.
Henry Chinaski: I stopped doing that years ago.

Henry Chinaski: [voiceover] Jan had a 500 dollar car. The big trick with that car was how to turn on the headlights. Of course we had the advantage of broken springs.

Barfly (1987)
Wanda: I can't stand people, I hate them.
Henry: Oh yeah?
Wanda: Do you hate them?
Henry: No, but I seem to feel better when they're not around.

Henry: Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

Henry: That's it.
Wanda: That's what?
Henry: I'm broke. Can't buy another drink.
Wanda: You mean you don't have any money?
Henry: No money, no job, no rent. Hey, I'm back to normal.

Eddie: All you gotta do is beg for a little mercy.
Henry: Quittin' to you would be like swallowin' piss for eternity.

Henry: Some guys really know how to get the women.
Jim: Now, you don't know how?
Henry: Hey, I can get one for ten minutes. That's my limit.

Henry: I remember ordering a draught, barkeep. What, are you out of brew, or has that lobotomy finally taken hold?

Tully: Why did you send your stuff to us?
Henry: Well, I liked the title of the mag. It boggled my scrotum.
Tully: Why don't you stop drinking? Anybody can be a drunk.
Henry: Anybody can be a non-drunk. It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.

Henry: This is a world where everybody's gotta do something. Y'know, somebody laid down this rule that everybody's gotta do something, they gotta be something. You know, a dentist, a glider pilot, a narc, a janitor, a preacher, all that.
Henry: Sometimes I just get tired of thinking of all the things that I don't wanna do. All the things that I don't wanna be. Places I don't wanna go, like India, like getting my teeth cleaned. Save the whale, all that, I don't understand that.
Jim: You're not supposed to think about it. I think the whole trick is, not to think about it.

Henry: So you hired a dick to find an asshole?

Wanda: I hate the police, don't you?
Henry: I don't know, but I seem to feel better when they're not around.

Henry: Baby, What we had was just green corn.

Henry: [to Eddie] Your mother's cunt stinks like carpet cleaner.

Tully: Do you need a drink?
Henry: Yeah, like a spider needs a fly.

Henry: It's hatred. It's the only thing that lasts.

Tully: I take it you don't care for my world.
Henry: [scoffs] Well, baby, look around. It's a, it's a cage with golden bars.

Henry: You know, in the guest house, you could write in peace.
Tully: Hey, Tully baby, nobody who could write worth a damn could ever write in peace, Jesus.

Tully: You can really write. Why do you live like a bum?
Henry: I am a bum. What do you want me to do? Do you want me to write about the sufferings of the upper classes?
Tully: This may be news to you but they suffer too.
Henry: Hey baby, nobody suffers like the poor.

Henry: [Voice over] And as my hands drop the last desperate pen, in some cheap room, they will find me there and never know my name, my meaning, nor the treasure of my escape.

Henry: Why did it have to be Eddie? He symbolizes everything that disgusts me. Obviousness. Unoriginal macho energy. Ladies man...
Wanda: You're right. He's not much

Henry: [to his own bloody face as reflected in the bathroom mirror] Nothing but the dripping sink. Empty bottle. Euphoria. Youth fenced in, stabbed and shaved. Taut words propped up to die

Henry: Drinks for all my friends!

Henry: Grow's for plants. I hate roots.

Wanda: [talking about the rumour that her neighbor killed people] Maybe he had a reason to kill those people.
Henry: Yeah well most people think they do.

Henry: Nobody who ever wrote anything worth a damn could ever write in peace... Jesus.