While researching on a writer whom I have never read any works of (because I will be curiously attending a talk by him) , I was grateful to read some timely quotes which I need to absorb at this point of my life:
You no longer live in other people’s shadows nor treat other people’s shadows as imaginary enemies. You just walked out of their shadows, stopped making up absurdities and fantasies, and are now in a vast emptiness and tranquillity.
It is only in the gesture of tranquilly prolonging this life and striving to comprehend the mystery of this moment in time that freedom of existence is achieved, for in solitarily scrutinizing the self the perceptions of the self by others loses all relevance.
– One Man’s Bible (because this is exactly the reminder I need every time I feel overwhelmed)
A writer is an ordinary person, perhaps he is more sensitive but people who are highly sensitive are often more frail. A writer does not speak as the spokesperson of the people or as the embodiment of righteousness. His voice is inevitably weak but it is precisely this voice of the individual that is more authentic.
What I want to say here is that literature can only be the voice of the individual and this has always been so. Once literature is contrived as the hymn of the nation, the flag of the race, the mouthpiece of a political party or the voice of a class or a group, it can be employed as a mighty and all-engulfing tool of propaganda. However, such literature loses what is inherent in literature, ceases to be literature, and becomes a substitute for power and profit.
– Nobel Lecture in 2000 (a comfort to know that not everyone sells out)