Nadine Gordimer

South African novelist and short-story writer whose work describes the effects of apartheid (born in 1923)

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A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice.
Art is on the side of the oppressed. Think before you shudder at the simplistic dictum and its heretical definition of the freedom of art. For if art is freedom of the spirit, how can it exist within the oppressors?
Exile as a mode of genius no longer exists; in place of Joyce we have the fragments of work appearing in Index on Censorship.
If people would forget about utopia! When rationalism destroyed heaven and decided to set it up here on earth, that most terrible of all goals entered human ambition. It was clear there'd be no end to what people would be made to suffer for it.
In a democracy -- even if it is a so-called democracy like our white-?litist one -- the greatest veneration one can show the rule of law is to keep a watch on it, and to reserve the right to judge unjust laws and the subversion of the function of the law by the power of the state. That vigilance is the most important proof of respect for the law.
Perhaps the best definition of progress would be the continuing efforts of men and women to narrow the gap between the convenience of the powers that be and the unwritten charter.
Power is something of which I am convinced there is no innocence this side of the womb.
The gap between the committed and the indifferent is a Sahara whose faint trails, followed by the mind's eye only, fade out in sand.
The primacy of the word, basis of the human psyche, that has in our age been used for mind-bending persuasion and brain-washing pulp, disgraced by Gobbles and debased by advertising copy, remains a force for freedom that flies out between all bars.
The very aim and end of our institutions is just this that we may think what we like and say what we think.
There is no moral authority like that of sacrifice.
Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.

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