Wednesday, March 05, 2003


Some quotations from Toni Morrison:

At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough.

She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. "Here," she said, "in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it."

If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression.

Freeing yourself is one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.

The function of freedom is to free somebody else.

When there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the same.

Liberation means you don't have to be silenced.

There is really nothing more to say-except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.

Like any artist with no art form, she became dangerous.

The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.

... [Without ghosts] I would have been dependent on so-called scientific data to explain hopelessly unscientific things.

I'm just trying to look at something without blinking.

The problem I face as a writer is to make my stories mean something. You can have wonderful, interesting people, a fascinating story, but it's not about anything. It has no real substance. I want my books to always be about something that is important to me, and the subjects that are important in the world are the same ones that have always been important.

What I think the political correctness debate is really about is the power to be able to define. The definers want the power to name. And the defined are now taking that power away from them.

In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.

Tell us what it is to be a woman so that we may know what it is to be a man. What moves at the margin. What it is to have no home in this place. To be set adrift from the one you knew. What it is to live at the edge of towns that cannot bear your company.

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