Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe > Quotes


Chinua Achebe quotes (showing 1-30 of 98)

“While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.”
Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah
“If you don't like someone's story, write your own.”
Chinua Achebe
“Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am - and what I need - is something I have to find out myself.”
Chinua Achebe
“The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“To me, being an intellectual doesn't mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.”
Chinua Achebe
“There is no story that is not true, [...] The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n'ani ji onwe ya: "He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Charity . . . is the opium of the privileged.”
Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah
“My weapon is literature

Chinua Achebe
“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. ”
Chinua Achebe
“When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.”
Chinua Achebe
“There is no story that is not true.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“If I hold her hand she says, ‘Don’t touch!’
If I hold her foot she says ‘Don’t touch!’
But when I hold her waist-beads she pretends not to know.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit -- in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the university or wherever.”
Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah
“A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“Nobody can teach me who I am.”
Chinua Achebe
“People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.”
Chinua Achebe
“Then listen to me,' he said and cleared his throat. 'It's true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother's hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. She is buried there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme. Is it right that you, Okonkwo, should bring your mother a heavy face and refuse to be comforted? Be careful or you may displease the dead. Your duty is to comfort your wives and children and take them back to your fatherland after seven years. But if you allow sorrow to weigh you down and kill you, they will all die in exile.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“...when we are comfortable and inattentive, we run the risk of committing grave injustices absentmindedly.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for a walk”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.

It was deeper and more intimate that the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw.

Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. It was not external but lay deep within himself.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“Mr. Brown had thought of nothing but numbers. He should have known that the kingdom of God did not depend on large crowds. Our Lord Himself stressed the importance of fewness. Narrow is the way and few the number. To fill the Lord's holy temple with an idolatrous crowd clamoring for signs was a folly of everlasting consequence. Our Lord used the whip only once in His life - to drive the crowd away from His church.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“Writers don't give prescriptions. They give headaches!”
Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah
“Do not despair. I know you will not despair. You have a manly and a proud heart. A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“Among the Igbo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“If you don't like my story,write your own”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
“When Suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat left for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.”
Chinua Achebe
“Privilege, you see, is one of the great adversaries of the imagination; it spreads a thick layer of adipose tissue over our sensitivity.”
Chinua Achebe, Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays
“Oh, the most important thing about myself is that my life has been full of changes. Therefore, when I observe the world, I don’t expect to see it just like I was seeing the fellow who lives in the next room. There is this complexity which seems to me to be part of the meaning of existence and everything we value.”
Chinua Achebe

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