Sunday, May 09, 2010


This interview with James Baldwin (.pdf), originally in The Paris Review of 1984, is a marvelous discussion. As with everything Baldwin writes or says, this reader is left in awe. At the same time, is it false humility, real humility, or ignorance when Baldwin says the following in answer to a question about his status as a "prophetic writer"?
I don't try to be prophetic, as I don't try to sit down to write literature. It is simply this: a writer has to take all the risks of putting down what he sees. No one can tell him about that. No one can control that reality.

Seems to me this is a marvelous distillation of what it means to be prophetic.

Anyway, I highly recommend the whole interview.

Virtual Tin Cup

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