Schmerz ist Wahrheit; alles andere wird angezweifelt.
Die Wahrheit wird nicht im Zorn gesprochen. Die Wahrheit, wenn sie denn gesprochen wird, wird im Geist der Liebe gesprochen.
Die Sache mit dem Sündenbock funktionierte wirklich, als noch religiöse Kraft dahinterstand. Man lud dem Ziegenbock die Sünden der Stadt auf und trieb ihn hinaus, und die Stadt war gereinigt. Es funktionierte, weil alle, einschließlich der Götter, wussten, wie das Ritual zu verstehen war. Dann starben die Götter, und plötzlich musste man die Stadt ohne göttliche Hilfe reinigen. Statt Symbolen waren richtige Taten gefragt. Der Zensor war geboren, im römischen Sinn. Wachsamkeit hieß die Parole: Die Wachsamkeit aller allen gegenüber. Reinigung wurde ersetzt durch Säuberungsaktionen.
There is nothing more inimical to writing than the spirit of fundamentalism. Fundamentalism abhors the play of signs, the endlessness of writing. Fundamentalism means nothing more or less than going back to an origin and staying there. It stands for one founding book and, thereafter, no more books.
As for September 11, let us not too easily grant the Americans possession of that date on the calendar. Like May 1 or July 14 or December 25, September 11 may seem full of significance to some people, while to other people it is just another day.
In its conception the literature prize belongs to days when a writer could still be thought of as, by virtue of his or her occupation, a sage, someone with no institutional affiliations who could offer an authoritative word on our times as well as on our moral life.
Elizabeth, Lady C, claims to be writing at the limits of language. Would it not be insulting to her if I were diligently to follow after her, explaining what she means but is not smart enough to say?
The most important of all rights is the right to life, and I cannot foresee a day when domesticated animals will be granted that right in law.
My response, a dubious and hesitant one, is that it has been and may continue to be, in the time that is left to me, more productive to live out the question than to try to answer it in abstract terms.
The writers who have the deepest influence on one are those one reads in ones more impressionable, early life, and often it is the more youthful works of those writers that leave the deepest imprint.
Lebanon, Israel, Ireland, South Africa - wherever there is a bleeding sore on the body of the world, the same hard-eyed narrow-minded fanatics are busy, indifferent to life, in love with death.
Islamic fundamentalism in its activist manifestation is bad news. Religious fundamentalism in general is bad news. We know about religious fundamentalism in South Africa. Calvinist fundamentalism has been an unmitigated force of benightedness in our history.
The mode of consciousness of nonhuman species is quite different from human consciousness.
There are works of literature whose influence is strong but indirect because it is mediated through the whole of the culture rather than immediately through imitation. Wordsworth is the case that comes to mind.
In becoming a citizen, one undertakes certain duties and responsibilities. One of the more intangible of those duties and responsibilities is no matter what one's birth and background, to accept the historical past of the new country as one's own.
I tend to resist invitations to interpret my own fiction.
Strictly speaking, my interest is not in legal rights for animals but in a change of heart towards animals.
The idea of writer as sage is pretty much dead today. I would certainly feel very uncomfortable in the role.
If there were a better, clearer, shorter way of saying what the fiction says, then why not scrap the fiction?
I read a great deal as a child. A lot of children go through a phase of reading in a literally voracious way. It is their primary imaginative activity. Maybe that's an experience which is not so common any more with the presence of television in every home.