Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.
More Quotes from Ralph Ellison:The understanding of art depends finally upon one's willingness to extend one's humanity and one's knowledge of human life.
There are few things in the world as dangerous as sleepwalkers.
The antidote to hubris, to overweening pride, is irony, that capacity to discover and systematize ideas. Or, as Emerson insisted, the development of consciousness, consciousness, consciousness.
Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.
There must be possible a fiction which, leaving sociology and case histories to the scientists, can arrive at the truth about the human condition, here and now, with all the bright magic of the fairy tale.
By and large, the critics and readers gave me an affirmed sense of my identity as a writer. You might know this within yourself, but to have it affirmed by others is of utmost importance. Writing is, after all, a form of communication.
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I won't lock my doors or bar them either if any of the old coots in the pictures out in the hall want to come out of their frames for a friendly chat.
War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.
If anybody wanted to photograph my life, they'd get bored in a day. 'Heres Matt at home learning his lines. Here's Matt researching in aisle six of his local library'. A few hours of that and they'd go home.