The Incomparable Mind Of James Baldwin

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1) “A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.”

2) “Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”

3) “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

4) “Fires can’t be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks.”

5) “I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all.”

6) “The writer’s greed is appalling. He wants, or seems to want, everything and practically everybody, in another sense, and at the same time, he needs no one at all.”

7) “Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”

8 ) “Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it and thought of other things if you did.”

9) “Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock.”

10) “Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.”

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11) “Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch”

12) “People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.”

13) “The face of a lover is an unknown, precisely because it is invested with so much of oneself. It is a mystery, containing, like all mysteries, the possibility of torment.”

14) “There are few things more dreadful than dealing with a man who knows he is going under, in his own eyes, and in the eyes of others. Nothing can help that man. What is left of that man flees from what is left of human attention.”

15) “There is a “sanctity” involved with bringing a child into this world: it is better than bombing one out of it.”

16) “The future is like heaven, everyone exalts it, but no one wants to go there now.”

17) “You know, it’s not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.”

18) “There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.”

19) “Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.”

20) “When one begins to live by habit and by quotation, one has begun to stop living.”

21) “Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time.”

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