I feel the need to reaffirm all of it, the whole unhappy territory and all the things loved and unloveable in it, for it is all part of me.
More Quotes from Ralph Ellison:I'm not a separatist. The imagination is integrative. That's how you make the new -- by putting something else with what you've got. And I'm unashamedly an American integrationist.
What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?
Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination-indeed, everything and anything except me.
The blues is an art of ambiguity, an assertion of the irrepressibly human over all circumstances, whether created by others or by one's own human failing.
And while the ice was melting to form a flood in which I threatened to drown I awoke one afternoon to find that my first northern winter had set.
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A proof of really great art is that it is generally true - it seldom falls into the misapprehensions to which minor art is liable.
Overnight I became a cottage industry.
Among absent lovers, ardor always fares better.