Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.
Time is change; we measure its passing by how much things alter.
Exile as a mode of genius no longer exists; in place of Joyce we have the fragments of work appearing in Index on Censorship.
Success sometimes may be defined as a disaster put on hold. Qualified. Has to be.
It was a miracle; it was all a miracle: and one ought to have known, from the sufferings of saints, that miracles are horror.
Nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction.
Power is something of which I am convinced there is no innocence this side of the womb.
There is no moral authority like that of sacrifice.
I'm a candle flame that sways in currents of air you can't see. You need to be the one who steadies me to burn.
The primacy of the word, basis of the human psyche, that has in our age been used for mind-bending persuasion and brain-washing pulp, disgraced by Gobbles and debased by advertising copy, remains a force for freedom that flies out between all bars.
A desert is a place without expectation.
The solitude of writing is also quite frightening. It's quite close to madness, one just disappears for a day and loses touch.
Written words still have the amazing power to bring out the best and worst of human nature
The facts are always less than what really happened.
Your whole life you are really writing one book, which is an attempt to grasp the consciousness of your time and place" a single book written from different stages of your ability.
Nothing fades so quickly as what is unchanged.
When I was a child, we seemed to be living in a world remote from the rest of the world. But television has made a great difference to all of us.
All worthwhile writing... comes from an individual vision, privately pursued.
What is the purpose of writing? For me personally, it is really to explain the mystery of life, and the mystery of life includes, of course, the personal, the political, the forces that make us what we are while there's another force from inside battling to make us something else.
I have failed at many things, but I have never been afraid.
Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you've made sense of one small area.
A truly living human being cannot remain neutral.
Time is change; we measure its passage by how much things alter.
The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.
In various and different circumstances certain objects and individuals are going to turn out to be vital. The wager of survival cannot, by its nature, reveal which, in advance of events.
If people would forget about utopia! When rationalism destroyed heaven and decided to set it up here on earth, that most terrible of all goals entered human ambition. It was clear there'd be no end to what people would be made to suffer for it.
Responsibility is what awaits outside the Eden of Creativity.
Communists are the last optimists.
when it comes to their essential faculty as writers, all writers are androgynous beings.
I shall never write an autobiography, I'm much too jealous of my privacy for that.
Mostly I'm interviewed by white people, and identified with white society.
Well, you know, in the fundamentalist milieu of the Afrikaners, there was a sense that they were a chosen people, that they were bringing civilization to the blacks.
If you live in Europe . . . things change . . . but continuity never seems to break. You don't have to throw the past away.
what a writer does is to try to make sense of life. I think that's what writing is, I think that's what painting is. It's seeking that thread of order and logic in the disorder, and the incredible waste and marvelous profligate character of life. What all artists are trying to do is to make sense of life.
Censorship may have to do with literature; but literature has nothing whatever to do with censorship.
The creative act is not pure. History evidences it. Ideology demands it. Society exacts it.
Humans, the only self-regarding animals, blessed or cursed with this torturing higher faculty, have always wanted to know why.
Disaster is private, in its way, as love is.
Fiction is a way of exploring possibilities present but undreamt of in the living of a single life.
in writing, sex doesn't matter; it's the writing that matters.