Many of the rites of passage, those rituals of growing up found in our society, are in the form of such comic, practical joking affairs—which we ignore in the belief that they possess no deeper significance. Yet it is precisely in their being regarded as unimportant that they take on importance. For in them we ritualize and dramatize attitudes which contradict and often embarrass the sacred values which we proclaim through our solemn ceremonies and rituals of nationhood.
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.
It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.
When American life is most American it is apt to be most theatrical.
Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.
America is woven of many strands. I would recognize them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.
If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison, and destroy.
The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead.
I am an invisible man. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
Topics: Exile, Prejudice
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.
Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Norman Mailer American Novelist, Journalist
- John Updike American Author
- Raymond Chandler American Novelist
- Thomas Wolfe American Novelist
- Lionel Trilling American Critic
- John Irving American Novelist
- Richard Wright American Novelist, Short-Story Writer
- Don DeLillo American Author
- Ernest J. Gaines American Novelist, Short-Story Writer
- Louis L’Amour American Novelist