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Nadine Gordimer

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Responsibility is what awaits outside the Eden of Creativity.
--
"The Essential Gesture" (12 October 1984)

 
Nadine Gordimer

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The time comes in the life of each of us when we realize that death awaits us as it awaits others, that we will receive at the end neither preference nor exemption. It is then, in that disturbed moment, that we know life is an adventure with an ending, not a succession of bright days that go on forever. Sometimes the knowledge come with the repudiation and quick revolt that such injustice awaits us, sometimes with fear that dries the mouth and closes the eyes for an instant, sometimes with servile weariness, an acquiescence more dreadful than fear. The knowledge that my own end was near came with pain, and afterwards astonishment, with the conventional heart attack, from which, I've been told, I've made an excellent recovery.

 
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Creativity is seeing what everyone else sees, but then thinking a new thought that has never been thought before and expressing it somehow. It could be with art, a sculpture, music or even in science. The difference, however, between scientific creativity and any other kind of creativity, is that no matter how long you wait, no one else will ever compose "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony" except for Beethoven. No matter what you do, no one else will paint Van Gogh's "Starry Night." Only Van Gogh could do that because it came from his creativity.

 
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The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your f**king mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions.

 
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Eden ha[s] put his country in a position where she sustained the greatest diplomatic reverse since Bismarck in similar circumstances had called Palmerston's bluff in the matter of Schleswig-Holstein...Further damage was done when Russia proved by her action in Spain, that she was not a good European as Mr. Eden had assured the world was the case.

 
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Did Adam dare to recollect Eden; did he dare, when he saw thistles and thorns at his feet, did he dare to say to Eve: No! It was not like this in Eden. In Eden, oh, do you recollect? Did Adam dare to do this?

 
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