James Baldwin cytaty

James Baldwin Fotografia
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James Baldwin

Data urodzenia: 2. Sierpień 1924
Data zgonu: 1. Grudzień 1987
Natępne imiona:Джеймс Болдуїн,Џејмс Болдвин


James Baldwin – afroamerykański powieściopisarz i eseista.

Pochodził z wielodzietnej rodziny. Wychował się pod okiem surowego ojczyma, który sprzeciwiał się jego literackim aspiracjom. Znalazł jednak wsparcie u swego nauczyciela. Pomógł mu także burmistrz Nowego Jorku, Fiorello LaGuardia, a później inny czarnoskóry pisarz, idol Baldwina, Richard Wright.

Baldwin, podobnie jak wielu innych amerykańskich pisarzy tego okresu, przeniósł się na jakiś czas do Europy – w 1948 r. zamieszkał w Paryżu. Po powrocie do Ameryki zaangażował się w ruch praw obywatelskich i aktywnie wspierał działalność Martina Luthera Kinga.

Tematyka utworów Baldwina dotyczy głównie problemów rasizmu i prześladowania homoseksualizmu, widzianych z perspektywy osobistych doświadczeń .

Cytaty James Baldwin


„If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then, very soon, no one in that society is safe. The forces thus released in the people can never be held in check, but run their devouring course, destroying the very foundations which it was imagined they would save.

But we are unbelievably ignorant concerning what goes on in our country--to say nothing of what goes on in the rest of the world--and appear to have become too timid to question what we are told. Our failure to trust one another deeply enough to be able to talk to one another has become so great that people with these questions in their hearts do not speak them; our opulence is so pervasive that people who are afraid to lose whatever they think they have persuade themselves of the truth of a lie, and help disseminate it; and God help the innocent here, that man or womn who simply wants to love, and be loved. Unless this would-be lover is able to replace his or her backbone with a steel rod, he or she is doomed. This is no place for love. I know that I am now expected to make a bow in the direction of those millions of unremarked, happy marriages all over America, but I am unable honestly to do so because I find nothing whatever in our moral and social climate--and I am now thinking particularly of the state of our children--to bear witness to their existence. I suspect that when we refer to these happy and so marvelously invisible people, we are simply being nostalgic concerning the happy, simple, God-fearing life which we imagine ourselves once to have lived. In any case, wherever love is found, it unfailingly makes itself felt in the individual, the personal authority of the individual. Judged by this standard, we are a loveless nation. The best that can be said is that some of us are struggling. And what we are struggling against is that death in the heart which leads not only to the shedding of blood, but which reduces human beings to corpses while they live.“

— James Baldwin, nothing personal

„Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.“

— James Baldwin
Context: Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up. "In Search of a Majority: An Address" (Feb 1960); reprinted in Baldwin, "Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobody_Knows_My_Name (1961)


„Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.“

— James Baldwin
Context: Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced. … Most of us are about as eager to change as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock. "As Much Truth As One Can Bear" in The New York Times Book Review (14 January 1962); republished in The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings (2011), edited by Randall Kenan<!-- , also quoted in Wisdom for the Soul : Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006) by Larry Chang, p. 114 -->

„I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.“

— James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
"Me and My House" in Harper's (November 1955); republished in Notes of a Native Son (1955)


„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".

„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

„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)

„Perhaps I did not succumb to ideology … because I have never seen myself as a spokesman. I am a witness.“

— James Baldwin
Context: Perhaps I did not succumb to ideology … because I have never seen myself as a spokesman. I am a witness. In the church in which I was raised you were supposed to bear witness to the truth. Now, later on, you wonder what in the world the truth is, but you do know what a lie is. 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)

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