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February 8, 2017

Quotations by Toni Morrison


TONI MORRISON (FEBRUARY 18, 1931) IS A LEADING AMERICAN NOVELIST, EDITOR, AND PROFESSOR EMERITUS AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. SHE WAS AWARDED THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE IN 1993.

Quotations by Toni Morrison

“We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

 “The presence of evil was something to be first recognized, then dealt with, survived, outwitted, triumphed over.”
~ Toni Morrison, Sula

“Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent happiness, and how thin human imagination became trying to achieve it.”
~ Toni Morrison, Paradise

“It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.”
~ Toni Morrison,  Sula

“Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

“Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“She learned the intricacy of loneliness: the horror of color, the roar of soundlessness and the menace of familiar objects lying still.”
~ Toni Morrison, A Mercy

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

“I dream a dream that dreams back at me”
~ Toni Morrison, A Mercy

 “Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover’s inward eye.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship’s, smooths and contains the rocker. It’s an inside kind—wrapped tight like skin. Then there is the loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive. On its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one’s own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

A dream is just a nightmare with lipstick.”
~ Toni Morrison, Love

“It was a fine cry - loud and long - but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”
~ Toni Morrison, Sula

“It’s a bad word, ‘belong.’ Especially when you put it with somebody you love … You can’t own a human being.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

“Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.”
~ Toni Morrison, Sula

“If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

“You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don't, do you? And neither does he. You're turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can't value you more than you value yourself.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

“Love is divine only and difficult always.”
~ Toni Morrison, Paradise

“At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don't need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can.”
~ Toni Morrison, Tar Baby

“Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another—physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

"And fantasy it was, for we were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved. We courted death in order to call ourselves brave, and hid like thieves from life. We substituted good grammar for intellect; we switched habits to simulate maturity; we rearranged lies and called it truth, seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word.”
~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place--the picture of it--stays, and not just in my remory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don't think if, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

“There in the center of that silence was not eternity but the death of time and a loneliness so profound the word itself had no meaning. ”
~ Toni Morrison, Sula
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