"I write to course through myself. Painting, composing, writing: to course through myself. That is where the adventure of being in life lies."

Despite a natural talent for writing, at first Henri Michaux did not want to devote himself to it, judging that it distanced him from free expression, which he considered essential. Nevertheless, he began from time to time to publish writings on art and literature in the Belgian magazine Le Disque vert, which he would eventually co-edit in 1925, once settled in Paris.

For Michaux, writing was not an end in itself, but a medium that allowed him to explore and reflect on the expressive possibilities of language. He cultivated prose poetry, which allowed for greater experimentation and let him create characters and settings that strayed from conventional reality (he wrote short, one- and two-paragraph stories inspired by his paintings) and actively seek new ways to depart from established protocol and grammar (for example, he invented words for which he alone understood the meaning).