The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993
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The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  201 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, reads the speech she delivered in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Knopf
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Garbage. PURPLE PROSE. The purplest prose I've ever seen. The irony is that this is one long sermon on the importance of clarity in language. But WTF does "dossier of failures" mean, or "declaration of transfer" or "gnomic pronouncements?" WTF?

The analogy with the old lady in the story is faulty, or at least she fails to show us how Toni Morrison is like a wise old blind lady mocked by children. The rest of the lecture is a diatribe against racism and sexism, because those two reified abstracti...more
Aberjhani
to hear toni morrison speak of narrative as "one of the principle ways in which we absorb knowledge," and language as "meditation," is to enter into a miraculously new understanding of what it means to sit down with a novel, biography, book of creative nonfiction, or even a simple short story. to note that she is stating these declarations while accepting the 1993 nobel prize for literature before members of the swedish academy doubles the thrill. [return:][return:]for those who have found maste...more
Jessica
I had this posted on my door for a year back in College. I made everyone who entered read it. I've relaxed a little and can see that now as pretty heavy handed... but I still maintain this is the treatise and the foundation of the community with whom I intend to share my life. It tells complex truths that teach us the power of narrative, the infinite possibility of abusing that power....the conjuring effect of narrative.... the risk we take in turning our lives over to the power of stories...and...more
Lauren Albert
In a collection of lectures by some of the greatest writers of our time, it's hard to imagine anyone not finding something to admire. They all--in one way or another--address the basic question: why write? Why do I write? Why do human beings write? Why does writing matter? And while their answers might differ, their passion for the subject is the same. If you love literature, if you are a writer or a passionate reader, you will find more than enough in this book to make it worth picking up.
Hollis
This book is a concise summary of Morrison's views on language and literature and a joy to read. If someone ever asks me what the point of literature or literary criticism is, I will probably recommend this to them.
Tegan Silanskas
If you haven't read this, it's really important that you do. What Morrison says, in many ways, relates to us all and is profound. The English nerd in me gets goosebumps everytime I read it.
Najah.farley
the first time that I heard this speech--my life changed. anyone who wants the opportunity to understand the power of words should listen and understand this speech.
Anna Qu
This was such an amazing speech. Anyone really invested in literature should read her acceptance speech
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Toni Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford), is an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."
Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k...more
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“Make up a story... For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief's wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul.” 1377 likes
“Is there no context for our lives? No song, no literature, no poem full of vitamins, no history connected to experience that you can pass along to help us start strong? You are an adult. The old one, the wise one. Stop thinking about saving your face. Think of our lives and tell us your particularized world. Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created. We will not blame you if your reach exceeds your grasp; if love so ignites your words they go down in flames and nothing is left but their scald. Or if, with the reticence of a surgeon's hands, your words suture only the places where blood might flow. We know you can never do it properly - once and for all. Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul. You, old woman, blessed with blindness, can speak the language that tells us what only language can: how to see without pictures. Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.” 83 likes
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