Ralph Ellison Quotes
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It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.
Please, a definition: A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.
Education is all a matter of building bridges.
Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.
Power doesn't have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.
America is woven of many strands. I would recognise them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.
When I discover who I am, I'll be free.
I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.
What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?
God is love, I said, but art's the possibility of forms, and shadows are the source of identity.
Power, for the writer....lies in his ability to reveal if only a little bit more about the complexity of humanity.
There are few things in the world as dangerous as sleepwalkers.
Without involvement, there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it." Stephen Covey "It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.
I do not know if all cops are poets, but I know that all cops carry guns with triggers.
That ... is how the world moves: Not like an arrow, but a boomerang.
I am an invisible man. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
The blues is an art of ambiguity, an assertion of the irrepressibly human over all circumstances, whether created by others or by one's own human failing.
I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.
Everywhere I've turned somebody has wanted to sacrifice me for my own good—only /they/ were the ones who benefited. And now we start on the old sacrificial merry-go-round. At what point do we stop?
Man's hope can paint a purple picture, can transform a soaring vulture into a noble eagle or moaning dove.
The world is a possibility if only you'll discover it.
Good fiction is made of that which is real, and reality is difficult to come by.
The antidote to hubris, to overweening pride, is irony, that capacity to discover and systematize ideas.
The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead.
I am nobody but myself.
I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.
And while the ice was melting to form a flood in which I threatened to drown I awoke one afternoon to find that my first northern winter had set.
To hell with being ashamed of what you liked.
In order to travel far you have to be detached.
Perhaps to lose a sense of where you are implies the danger of losing a sense of who you are.
Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself.
The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghostlike.
I'm not a separatist. The imagination is integrative. That's how you make the new -- by putting something else with what you've got. And I'm unashamedly an American integrationist.
It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself.
I remember that I'm invisible and walk softly so as not awake the sleeping ones. Sometimes it is best not to awaken them; there are few things in the world as dangerous as sleepwalkers.
Eclecticism is the word. Like a jazz musician who creates his own style out of the styles around him, I play by ear.
Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?
We look too much to museums. The sun coming up in the morning is enough.
I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I've tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied
Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.
Meaning grows in the mind, but the shape and form of the act remains.
Every serious novel is, beyond its immediate thematic preoccupations, a discussion of the craft, a conquest of the form, a conflict with its difficulties and a pursuit of its felicities and beauty.
Words are your business, boy. Not just the word. Words are everything. The key to the rock, the answer to the question.
If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to bind, imprison and destroy.
Life is as the sea, art a ship in which man conquers life's crushing formlessness, reducing it to a course, a series of swells, tides and wind currents inscribed on a chart.
If social protest is antithetical to art, what then shall we make of Goya, Dickens, and Twain?
We don't all dig Shakespeare uniformly, or even 'Little Red Riding Hood.' The understanding of art depends finally upon one's willingness to extend one's humanity and one's knowledge of human life.
The thing to do is to exploit the meaning of the life you have.
America is woven of many strands. I would recognize them and let it so remain.