Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An Honest Man and a Good Writer

Profound intellects/
Dealing in unvarnished truth/
Are always suspect.
James Baldwin (1924-1987), by Van Vechten, 1955.
"Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent--which attitude certainly has a great deal to support it. On the other hand, it is only because the world looks on his talent with such a frightening indifference that the artist is compelled to make his talent important. So that any writer, looking back over even so short a span of time as I am here forced to assess, finds that the things which hurt him and the things which helped him cannot be divorced from each other; he could be helped in a certain way only because he was hurt in a certain way; and his help is simply to be enabled to move from one conundrum to the next--one is tempted to say that he moves from one disaster to the next." --James Baldwin
Read the entire 1952 essay from which this passage has been excerpted by clicking on the link below:
 Autobiographical Notes

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