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Toni Morrison Quotes (123 Quotes)


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  • Let me tell you something. A man ain't a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can't chop down because they're inside.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • For now he knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.
    (Toni Morrison, "Song of Solomon")

  • I had only one desire: to dismember it. To see of what it was made, to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped me, but apparently only me.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • They seemed to have taken all of their smoothly cultivated ignorance, their exquisitely learned self-hatred, their elaborately designed hopelessness and sucked it all up into a fiery cone of scorn that had burned for ages in the hollows of their minds - cooled - and spilled over lips of outrage, consuming whatever was in its path.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • Make a difference, does it? You stay the night here snake get you.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")


  • Gimme hate, Lord,ö he whimpered. ôIÆll take hate any day. But donÆt give me love. I canÆt take no more love, Lord. I canÆt carry it...ItÆs too heavy. Jesus, you know, You know all about it. AinÆt it heavy? Jesus? AinÆt love heavy?
    (Toni Morrison, "Song of Solomon")

  • If happiness is anticipation with certainty, we were happy.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • Tough shit, buddy. Your tough shit...
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • No matter what all your teeth and wet fingers anticipated, there was no accounting for the way that simple joy could shake you.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • I wish IÆd a knowed more people. I would of loved æem all. If IÆd a knowed more, I would a loved more
    (Toni Morrison, "Song of Solomon")

  • Instead of ignoring her infirmity, pretending it was not there, he made it seem like something special and endearing. For the first time Pauline felt that her bad foot was an asset
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • No more running-from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this Earth. I took one journey and I paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something, Paul D. Garner: it cost too much!
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • Listen, baby, people do funny things. Specially us. The cards are stacked against us and just trying to stay in the game, stay alive and in the game, makes us do funny things. Things we can't help. Things that make us hurt one another. We don't even know why.
    (Toni Morrison, "Song of Solomon")

  • Jealousy we understood and thought natural...but envy was a strange, new feeling for us. And all the time we knew that Maureen Peal was not the Enemy and not worthy of such intense hatred. The Thing to fear was the Thing that made her beautiful, and not us.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")


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