Frasi James Arthur Baldwin

„The roles that we construct are constructed because we feel that they will help us to survive and also, of course, because they fulfill something in our personalities; and one does not, therefore, cease playing a role simply because one has begun to understand it.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: The roles that we construct are constructed because we feel that they will help us to survive and also, of course, because they fulfill something in our personalities; and one does not, therefore, cease playing a role simply because one has begun to understand it. All roles are dangerous. The world tends to trap you in the role you play and it is always extremely hard to maintain a watchful, mocking distance between oneself as one appears to be and oneself as one actually is. "The Black Boy Looks at the White Boy" in Esquire (May 1961)

„It is true that two wrongs don't make a right, as we love to point out to the people we have wronged. But one wrong doesn't make a right, either.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: It is true that two wrongs don't make a right, as we love to point out to the people we have wronged. But one wrong doesn't make a right, either. People who have been wronged will attempt to right the wrong; they would not be people if they didn't. They can rarely afford to be scrupulous about the means they will use. They will use such means as come to hand. Neither, in the main, will they distinguish one oppressor from another, nor see through to the root principle of their oppression. "Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White" http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-antisem.html in The New York Times (9 April 1967)

Pubblicità

„One must say Yes to life, and embrace it wherever it is found - and it is found in terrible places.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: One must say Yes to life, and embrace it wherever it is found - and it is found in terrible places. … For nothing is fixed, forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out. From Nothing Personal, a collaboration with the photographer Richard Avedon (1964). Baldwin's text for the volume can be found " here https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1042&context=cibs".

„I knew Richard [Wright] and I loved him.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: I knew Richard [Wright] and I loved him. [... ] I was not attacking him; I was trying to clarify something for myself. Interview with Julius Lester, "James Baldwin: Reflections of a Maverick" http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-reflections.html in The New York Times (27 May 1984)

„I began plotting novels at about the time I learned to read.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: I began plotting novels at about the time I learned to read. The story of my childhood is the usual bleak fantasy, and we can dismiss it with the restrained observation that I certainly would not consider living it again.

„Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discover that it happened 100 years ago to Dostoyevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that he is alone. This is why art is important. Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important. "An interview with James Baldwin" (1961)

„Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: One must say Yes to life, and embrace it wherever it is found - and it is found in terrible places. … For nothing is fixed, forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out. From Nothing Personal, a collaboration with the photographer Richard Avedon (1964). Baldwin's text for the volume can be found " here https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1042&context=cibs".

„What force, precisely, is operating when a prisoner is advised, requested, ordered, intimidated, or forced, to confess to a crime he has not committed, and promised a lighter sentence for so perjuring and debasing himself? Does the law exist for the purpose of furthering the ambitions of those who have sworn to uphold the law, or is it seriously to be considered as a moral, unifying force, the health and strength of a nation?“

—  James Baldwin
Context: The prison is overcrowded, the calendars full, the judges busy, the lawyers ambitious, and the cops zealous. What does it matter if someone gets trapped here for a year or two, gets ruined here, goes mad here, commits murder or suicide here? It's too bad, but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. I do not claim that everyone in prison here is innocent, but I do claim that the law, as it operates, is guilty, and that the prisoners, therefore, are all unjustly imprisoned. Is it conceivable, after all, that any middle-class white boy -- or, indeed, almost any white boy -- would have been arrested on so grave a charge as murder, with such flimsy substantiation, and forced to spend, as of this writing, three years in prison? What force, precisely, is operating when a prisoner is advised, requested, ordered, intimidated, or forced, to confess to a crime he has not committed, and promised a lighter sentence for so perjuring and debasing himself? Does the law exist for the purpose of furthering the ambitions of those who have sworn to uphold the law, or is it seriously to be considered as a moral, unifying force, the health and strength of a nation? No Name in the Street (1972)

„Art has to be a kind of confession.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: Art has to be a kind of confession. I don't mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover them, too — the terms with which they are connected to other people. "An interview with James Baldwin" (1961); an interview with Studs Terkel published in Conversations With James Baldwin (1989)

„The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately“

—  James Baldwin
Context: The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their "vital interests" are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the "sanctity" of human life, or the "conscience" of the civilized world. From chapter one of The Devil Finds Work (orig. pub. 1976), reprinted in The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985

„All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story, to vomit the anguish up.“

—  James Baldwin
"The Precarious Vogue of Ingmar Bergman" in Esquire (April 1960); republished as "The Northern Protestant" in Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961) and in The Price of the Ticket (1985)

„I don't like people who like me because I'm a Negro; neither do I like people who find in the same accident grounds for contempt. I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one's own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright.“

—  James Baldwin
Context: I don't like people who like me because I'm a Negro; neither do I like people who find in the same accident grounds for contempt. I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one's own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright. I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done. I want to be an honest man and a good writer.

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