Monday, October 23, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Nadine Gordimer


South African Jewish novelist and writer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in literature and 1974 Booker Prize.
Nadine Gordimer
I shall never write an autobiography, I'm much too jealous of my privacy for that.
Gordimer quotes
The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.
Gordimer
I opened the telegram and said, "He's dead " and as I looked up into Graham Mill's gaze I saw that he knew who, before I could say.




Gordimer Nadine quotes
I was evidence of the theory that books are made out of other books . . . But I did not remain so for long, nor do I believe any potential writer could.
Gordimer Nadine
The writer is of service to humankind only insofar as the writer uses the word even against his or her own loyalties, trusts the state of being, as it is revealed, to hold somewhere in its complexity filaments of the cord of truth, able to be bound together, here and there, in art: trusts the state of being to yield somewhere fragmentary phrases of truth, which is the final word of words, never changed by our stumbling efforts to spell it out and write it down, never changed by lies, by semantic sophistry, by the dirtying of the word for the purposes of racism, sexism, prejudice, domination, the glorification of destruction, the curses and the praise-songs.
Nadine Gordimer quotes
Communists are the last optimists.
Nadine Gordimer
Sentiment is for those who don't know what to do next.
Gordimer Nadine quotes
I certainly find being the recipient at this celebratory dinner more pleasurable and rewarding than chicken-pox, having now in my life experienced both. But the small girl was not entirely wrong. Writing is indeed, some kind of affliction in its demands as the most solitary and introspective of occupations.
Gordimer
Perhaps it is the positive knowledge that humans now possess the means to destroy their whole planet, the fear that they have in this way themselves become the gods, dreadfully charged with their own continued existence, that has made comic-book and movie myth escapist.
Gordimer Nadine
Both Borges and Sartre, from their totally different extremes of denying literature a social purpose, were certainly perfectly aware that it has its implicit and unalterable social role in exploring the state of being, from which all other roles, personal among friends, public at the protest demonstration, derive. Borges was not writing for his friends, for he published and we all have received the bounty of his work. Sartre did not stop writing, although he stood at the barricades in 1968.
Nadine Gordimer
The forces of being remain. They are what the writer, as distinct from the contemporary popular mythmaker, still engage today, as myth in its ancient form attempted to do.




Nadine Gordimer quotes
With adolescence comes the first reaching out to otherness through the drive of sexuality. For most children, from then on the faculty of the imagination, manifest in play, is lost in the focus on day dreams of desire and love, but for those who are going to be artists of one kind or another the first life-crisis after that of birth does something else in addition: the imagination gains range and extends by the subjective flex of new and turbulent emotions. There are new perceptions. The writer begins to be able to enter into other lives. The process of standing apart and being involved has come.
Nadine Gordimer
Literary scholars end up being some kind of storyteller, too.
Gordimer quotes
Responsibility is what awaits outside the Eden of Creativity.
Gordimer Nadine
Perhaps there is no other way of reaching some understanding of being than through art? Writers themselves don't analyze what they do; to analyze would be to look down while crossing a canyon on a tightrope.
Gordimer Nadine quotes
The writer in relation to the nature of perceivable reality and what is beyond imperceivable reality is the basis for all these studies, no matter what resulting concepts are labelled, and no matter in what categorized microfiles writers are stowed away for the annals of literary historiography. Reality is constructed out of many elements and entities, seen and unseen, expressed, and left unexpressed for breathing-space in the mind.
Nadine Gordimer
When the six-year-old daughter of a friend of mine overheard her father telling someone that I had been awarded the Nobel Prize, she asked whether I had ever received it before. He replied that the Prize was something you could get only once. Whereupon the small girl thought a moment: 'Oh' she said, 'so it's like chicken-pox.'
Nadine Gordimer quotes
There is a paradox. In retaining this integrity, the writer sometimes must risk both the state's indictment of treason, and the liberation forces' complaint of lack of blind commitment.
Nadine Gordimer
Like the prisoners incarcerated with the jaguar in Borges' story, 'The God's Script', who was trying to read, in a ray of light which fell only once a day, the meaning of being from the marking on the creature's pelt, we spend our lives attempting to interpret through the word the readings we take in the societies, the world of which we are part. It is in this sense, this inextricable, ineffable participation, that writing is always and at once an exploration of self and of the world; of individual and collective being.
Gordimer Nadine
There are many proven explanations for natural phenomena now; and there are new questions of being arising out of some of the answers. For this reason, the genre of myth has never been entirely abandoned, although we are inclined to think of it as archaic. If it dwindled to the children's bedtime tale in some societies, in parts of the world protected by forests or deserts from international megaculture it has continued, alive, to offer art as a system of mediation between the individual and being. And it has made a whirling comeback out of Space, an Icarus in the avatar of Batman and his kind, who never fall into the ocean of failure to deal with the gravity forces of life.


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