Saturday, April 17, 2021 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
Learning to write sent me falling, falling through the surface of the South African way of life.
Gordimer quotes
Humans, the only self-regarding animals, blessed or cursed with this torturing higher faculty, have always wanted to know why.
Gordimer
Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you've made sense of one small area.




Gordimer Nadine quotes
What we had to do to find the world was to enter our own world fully, first. We had to enter through the tragedy of our own particular place. If the Nobel awards have a special meaning, it is that they carry this concept further. In their global eclecticism they recognize that no single society, no country or continent can presume to create a truly human culture for the world. To be among laureates, past and present, is at least to belong to some sort of one world.
Gordimer Nadine
Mostly I'm interviewed by white people, and identified with white society.
Nadine Gordimer quotes
I have said that nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction. The life, the opinions, are not the work, for it is in the tension between standing apart and being involved that the imagination transforms both. Let me give some minimal account of myself. I am what I suppose would be called a natural writer. I did not make any decision to become one. I did not, at the beginning, expect to earn a living by being read. I wrote as a child out of the joy of apprehending life through my senses — the look and scent and feel of things; and soon out of the emotions that puzzled me or raged within me and which took form, found some enlightenment, solace and delight, shaped in the written word.
Nadine Gordimer
The gap between the committed and the indifferent is a Sahara whose faint trails, followed by the mind's eye only, fade out in sand.
Gordimer Nadine quotes
The creative act is not pure. History evidences it. Sociology extracts it. The writer loses Eden, writes to be read and comes to realize that he is answerable.
Gordimer
The writer must take the right to explore, warts and all, both the enemy and the beloved comrade in arms, since only a try for the truth makes sense of being, only a try for the truth edges towards justice just ahead of Yeats's beast slouching to be born.
Gordimer Nadine
Any writer of any worth at all hopes to play only a pocket-torch of light — and rarely, through genius, a sudden flambeau — into the bloody yet beautiful labyrinth of human experience, of being.
Nadine Gordimer
Since humans became self-regarding they have sought, as well, explanations for the common phenomena of procreation, death, the cycle of seasons, the earth, sea, wind and stars, sun and moon, plenty and disaster. With myth, the writer's ancestors, the oral story-tellers, began to feel out and formulate these mysteries, using the elements of daily life — observable reality — and the faculty of the imagination — the power of projection into the hidden — to make stories.




Nadine Gordimer quotes
You can't change a regime on the basis of compassion. There's got to be something harder.
Nadine Gordimer
Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.
Gordimer quotes
Among the group of people waiting at the fortress was a schoolgirl in a brown and yellow uniform holding a green eiderdown quilt and, by the loop at its neck, a red hot-water bottle.
Gordimer Nadine
Being here: in a particular time and place. That is the existential position with particular implications for literature.
Gordimer Nadine quotes
Most imprisoned writers have been shut away for their activities as citizens striving for liberation against the oppression of the general society to which they belong. Others have been condemned by repressive regimes for serving society by writing as well as they can; for this aesthetic venture of ours becomes subversive when the shameful secrets of our times are explored deeply, with the artist's rebellious integrity to the state of being manifest in life around her or him; then the writer's themes and characters inevitably are formed by the pressures and distortions of that society as the life of the fisherman is determined by the power of the sea.
Nadine Gordimer
In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, signified God's Word, the word that was Creation. But over the centuries of human culture the word has taken on other meanings, secular as well as religious. To have the word has come to be synonymous with ultimate authority, with prestige, with awesome, sometimes dangerous persuation, to have Prime Time, a TV talk show, to have the gift of the gab as well as that of speaking in tongues. The word flies through space, it is bounced from satellites, now nearer than it has ever been to the heaven from which it was believed to have come.
Nadine Gordimer quotes
Art defies defeat by its very existence, representing the celebration of life, in spite of all attempts to degrade and destroy it.
Nadine Gordimer
Camus dealt with the question best. He said that he liked individuals who take sides more than literatures that do. 'One either serves the whole of man or does not serve him at all. And if man needs bread and justice, and if what has to be done must be done to serve this need, he also needs pure beauty which is the bread of his heart.' So Camus called for 'Courage in and talent in one's work.' And Márquez redefined tender fiction thus: The best way a writer can serve a revolution is to write as well as he can.
I believe that these two statements might be the credo for all of us who write. They do not resolve the conflicts that have come, and will continue to come, to contemporary writers. But they state plainly an honest possibility of doing so, they turn the face of the writer squarely to her and his existence, the reason to be, as a writer, and the reason to be, as a responsible human, acting, like any other, within a social context.
Gordimer Nadine
We must live fully in order to secrete the substance of our work, but we have to work alone.


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact