Thursday, December 14, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Richard Wright (1908 – 1960)


African-American author of novels, short stories and non-fiction.
Richard Wright
Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.Native Son Pg. 399
Wright quotes
[As] the tide of white domination of the land mass of Asia and Africa recedes, there lies exposed to view a procession of shattered cultures, disintegrated societies, and a writhing sweep of more aggressive, irrational religion than the world has known for centuries.
Wright
A sleepless spring night:
Yearning for what I never had
And for what never was.




Wright Richard quotes
Richard went to Paris in 1946, when I was 22, he was 38. Now, it took me a long time; I had to get to be much older to realize something. I didn't realize it that day at all. I was not born in Mississippi; I was born in New York. And I did not leave Mississippi to go to Chicago. And endure all that. I was much too young to realize what I was looking at really. But, that's a journey. To go from Mississippi to Chicago to New York to Paris in 38 years is amazing. You might as well have walked all that distance, it's almost that remarkable.
Wright Richard
I found that I had written a book which even bankers' daughters could read and weep over and feel good about. I swore to myself that if I every wrote another book, no one would weep over it; that it would be so hard and deep that they would have to face it without the consolation of tears.
Richard Wright quotes
"Don't think I'm so odd and strange ... I'm not.... I'm legion ... I've lived alone, but I'm everywhere."
Richard Wright
My ability to endure tension had now grown amazingly. From the accidental pain of southern years, from anxiety that I had sought to avoid, from fear that had been too painful to bear, I had learned to like my unintermittent burden of feeling, had become habituated to acting with all of my being, had learned to seek those areas of life, those situations, where I knew that events would complement my own inner mood. I was conscious of what was happening to me; I knew that my attitude of watchful wonder had usurped all other feelings, had become the meaning of my life, an integral part of my personality; that I was striving to live and measure all things by it. Having no claims upon others, I bent the way the wind blew, rendering unto my environment that which was my environment's, and rendering unto myself that which I felt was mine. It was a dangerous way to live, far more dangerous than violating laws or ethical codes of conduct; but the danger was for me and me alone.
Wright Richard quotes
"Nothing.... Alone a man is nothing.....I wish I had some way to give the meaning of my life to others.... To make a bridge from man to man.... We must find some way of being good to ourselves.... Man is all we've got."
Wright
I have no religion in the formal sense of the word .... I have no race except that which is forced upon me. I have no country except that to which I'm obliged to belong. I have no traditions. I'm free. I have only the future.
Wright Richard
How can the spirit of the Enlightenment and the Reformation be extended now to all men?
Richard Wright
Panting, begging I clutched childlike, clutched to the hot sides of death. Now I am dry bones and my face a stony skull staring in yellow surprise at the sun. . . .




Richard Wright quotes
All my life I have done nothing but feel and cultivate my feelings; all their lives they had done nothing but strive for petty goals, the trivial material prizes of American life. We shared a common tongue, but my language was a different language from theirs.
Richard Wright
Maybe anything's right, he mumbled. Yes, if the world as men had made it was right, then anything else was right, any act a man took to satisfy himself, murder, theft, torture.He straightened with a start. What was happening to him? ... He was going to do something, but what? Yes, he was afraid of himself, afraid of doing some nameless thing.
Wright quotes
"Injustice which lasts for three long centuries and which exists among millions of people over thousands of square miles of territory, is injustice no longer; it is an accomplished fact of life. Men adjust themselves to their land; they create their own laws of being; their notions of right and wrong.
Wright Richard
It was this intolerable sense of feeling and understanding so much, and yet living on a plane of social reality where the look of a world which one did not make or own struck one with a blinding objectivity and tangibility, that made me grasp the revolutionary impulse in my life and the lives of those about me and far away.
Wright Richard quotes
“Where could he find such experiences, such spheres of existence? In the main, he accepted the kind of world that the Bible claimed existed; but, for the sufferings, terrors, accidental births, and meaningless deaths of that world, he rejected the Biblical prescriptions of repentance, prayer, faith and grace. He was persuaded that what started on this earth had to be rounded off and somehow finished here.”
Richard Wright
What vision must Negro writers have before their eyes in order to feel the impelling necessity for an about face? What angle of vision can show them all the forces of modern society in process, all the lines of economic development converging toward a distant point of hope? Must they believe in some `ism'? ("Blueprint" 45)
Richard Wright quotes
“He had fled a world that he had known and that had emotionally crucified him, but what was he here in this world whose impact loosed storms in his blood? Could he ever make the white faces around him understand how they had charged his world with images of beckoning desire and dread? Naw, naw…No one could believe the kind of life he had lived and was living.
Richard Wright
And then, while writing, a new and thrilling relationship would spring up under the drive emotion, coalescing and telescoping alien facts into a known and felt truth. That was the deep fun of the job; to feel within my body that I was pushing out to new areas of feeling, strange landmarks of emotion, tramping upon foreign soil, compounding new relationships of perceptions, making new and - until that very split second of time! - unheard-of and unfelt effects with words.
Wright Richard
As a protective mechanism, I developed a terse, cynical mode of speech that rebuffed those who sought to get too close to me. Conversation was my way of avoiding expression; my words were reserved for those times when I sat down alone to write. My face was always a deadpan or a mask of general friendliness; no word or event could jar me into a gesture of enthusiasm or despair.


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