Friday, April 8, 2016

"Society must assume that it is stable, but the artist must know, and he must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven. (...) The artist is distinguished from all other responsible actors in society—the politicians, legislators, educators, and scientists—by the fact that he is his own test tube.

(...) anyone who has ever been compelled to think about it—anyone, for example, who has ever been in love, knows that the one face that one can never see is one’s own face.

We do the things we do and feel what we feel essentially because we must---we are responsible for our actions, but we rarely understand them. It goes without saying, I believe, that if we understood ourselves better, we would damage ourselves less.

The human effort is to bring these two realities into a relationship resembling reconciliation. The human beings whom we respect the most, after all - and sometimes fear the most - are those who are most deeply involved in this delicate and strenuous effort, for they have the unshakable authority that comes only from having looked on and endured and survived the worst."
James Baldwin
on the Creative Process  

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