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Ralph Ellison Quotes

Ralph Ellison Quote: “Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “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.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Imitation is suicide, envy is ignorance.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “If you can show me how I can cling to that which is real to me, while teaching me a way into the larger society, then and only then will I drop my defenses and hostility, and I will sing your praises and help you to make the desert bear fruit.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “The truth is the light and the light is the truth.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Education is all a matter of building bridges.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Please, a definition: A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I am nobody but myself.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “In order to travel far you have to be detached.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I’ve tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Power doesn’t have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “All novels are about certain minorities: the individual is a minority. The universal in the novel-and isn’t that what we’re all clamoring for these days?-is reached only through the depiction of the specific man in a specific circumstance.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Commercial rock ‘n’ roll music is a brutalization of the stream of contemporary Negro church music an obscene looting of a cultural expression.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “The antidote to hubris, to overweening pride, is irony, that capacity to discover and systematize ideas.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Perhaps everyone loved someone; I didn’t now, I couldn’t give much thought to love; in order to travel far you had to be detached, and I had the long road back to the campus before me.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “And my problem was that I always tried to go in everyone’s way but my own.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “We don’t all dig Shakespeare uniformly, or even ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’ The understanding of art depends finally upon one’s willingness to extend one’s humanity and one’s knowledge of human life.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “To hell with being ashamed of what you liked.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Eclecticism is the word. Like a jazz musician who creates his own style out of the styles around him, I play by ear.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Life is as the sea, art a ship in which man conquers life’s crushing formlessness, reducing it to a course, a series of swells, tides and wind currents inscribed on a chart.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “All novels are about certain minorities: the individual is a minority.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “And the mind that has conceived a plan of living must never lose sight of the chaos against which that pattern was conceived. That goes for societies as well as for individuals.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghostlike.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Man’s hope can paint a purple picture, can transform a soaring vulture into a noble eagle or moaning dove.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I do not know if all cops are poets, but I know that all cops carry guns with triggers.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise, and we chose rather desperately to live.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I am one of the most irresponsible beings that ever lived. Irresponsibility is part of my invisibility; any way you face it, it is a denial. But to whom can I be responsible, and why should I be, when you refuse to see me?”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “That which we remember is, more often than not, that which we would like to have been; or that which we hope to be. Thus our memory and our identity are ever at odds; our history ever a tale told by inattentive idealists.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “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.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Good fiction is made of that which is real, and reality is difficult to come by.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “The clock ticked with empty urgency, as though trying to catch up with the time. In the street a siren howled.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to bind, imprison and destroy.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Perhaps to lose a sense of where you are implies the danger of losing a sense of who you are.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “The world is a possibility if only you’ll discover it.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “We look too much to museums. The sun coming up in the morning is enough.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “I denounce because though implicated and partially responsible, I have been hurt to the point of abysmal pain, hurt to the point of invisibility. And I defend because in spite of it all, I find that I love.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “Some things are just too unjust for words, and too ambiguous for either speech or ideas.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “God is love, I said, but art’s the possibility of forms, and shadows are the source of identity.”
Ralph Ellison Quote: “The blues is an art of ambiguity, an assertion of the irrepressibly human over all circumstances, whether created by others or by one’s own human failing.”
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