Please, a definition: A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.

— Ralph Ellison

The most professional Ralph Ellison quotes that will activate your inner potential

It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.

93

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.

84

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.

72

I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.

Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.

69

At best Americans give but a limited attention to history.

Too much happens too rapidly, and before we can evaluate it, or exhaust its meaning or pleasure, there is something new to concern us. Ours is the tempo of the motion picture, not that of the still camera, and we waste experience as we wasted the forest.

61

America is woven of many strands. I would recognise them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.

61

I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves.

I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.

53

There are few things in the world as dangerous as sleepwalkers.

38

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.

32

Without involvement, there is no commitment.

Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it." Stephen Covey "It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.

28

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.

23

That ... is how the world moves: Not like an arrow, but a boomerang.

22

About Ralph Ellison

Quotes 91 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

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.

19

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.

16

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?

16

Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.

16

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.

15

I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.

15

There must be possible a fiction which, leaving sociology and case histories to the scientists, can arrive at the truth about the human condition, here and now, with all the bright magic of the fairy tale.

15

Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.

13

Everywhere I've turned somebody has wanted to sacrifice me for my own good—only /they/ were the ones who benefited. And now we start on the old sacrificial merry-go-round. At what point do we stop?

13

The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead.

12

I suddenly recall the arpeggios of laughter lilting across the tender, springtime grass-gay-welling, far-floating, fluent, spontaneous, a bell-like feminine fluting, then suppressed; as though snuffed swiftly and irrevocably beneath the quiet solemnity of the vespered air now vibrant with somber chapel bells.

12

Man's hope can paint a purple picture, can transform a soaring vulture into a noble eagle or moaning dove.

12

The antidote to hubris, to overweening pride, is irony, that capacity to discover and systematize ideas.

11

I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.

8

Perhaps to lose a sense of where you are implies the danger of losing a sense of who you are.

7

The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghostlike.

7

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.

6

Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself.

6

The world is a possibility if only you'll discover it.

6

If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison, and destroy.

5

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.

4

Every serious novel is, beyond its immediate thematic preoccupations, a discussion of the craft, a conquest of the form, a conflict with its difficulties and a pursuit of its felicities and beauty.

4

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.

4

If social protest is antithetical to art, what then shall we make of Goya, Dickens, and Twain?

4

Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labeled 'file and forget.'

3

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.

3

And I knew that it was better to live out one's absurdity than to die for that of others.

3

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.

3

America is woven of many strands. I would recognize them and let it so remain.

3

The clock ticked with empty urgency, as though trying to catch up with the time.

In the street a siren howled.

2

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.

1

America is woven of many strands. I would recognize them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.

1

...and yet I am what they think I am.

0

So why do I write, torturing myself to put it down? Because in spite of myself I've learned some things. Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labeled "file and forget," and I can neither file nor forget. Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency. Why should I be the one to dream this nightmare?

0

I do not know if all cops are poets, but I know that all cops carry guns with triggers.

0

God is love, I said, but art's the possibility of forms, and shadows are the source of identity.

0

But what a feeling can come over a man just from seeing the things he believes in and hopes for symbolized in the concrete form of a man. In something that gives a focus to all the other things he knows to be real. Something that makes unseen things manifest and allows him to come to his hopes and dreams through his outer eye and through the touch and feel of his natural hand.

0
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