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Wole Soyinka Quotes
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"And gradually they're beginning to recognize the fact that there's nothing more secure than a democratic, accountable, and participatory form of government. But it's sunk in only theoretically, it has not yet sunk in completely in practical terms."
"And I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others."
"But left with nothing to do except my own resources, I found myself going back and recollecting those mathematical formulas, geometric and algebraic, which I'd loathed in school, and now reworking them, reinventing them, rediscovering them and finding a logic to them."
"But the ultimate lesson is just sit down and write. That's all."
"But theater, because of its nature, both text, images, multimedia effects, has a wider base of communication with an audience. That's why I call it the most social of the various art forms."
"But when you're deprived of it for a lengthy period then you value human companionship. But you have to survive and so you devise all kinds of mental exercises and it's amazing."
"Even when I'm writing plays I enjoy having company and mentally I think of that company as the company I'm writing for."
"I believe that there is a kind of osmotic process whereby one intuitively absorbs the various strands that went into the making of a play, a poem, etc."
"I consider the process of gestation just as important as when you're actually sitting down putting words to the paper."
"I don't really consider myself a novelist, it just came out purely by accident."
"I found, when I left, that there were others who felt the same way. We'd meet, they'd come and seek me out, we'd talk about the future. And I found that their depression and pessimism was every bit as acute as mine."
"I grew up in an atmosphere where words were an integral part of culture."
"I think that feeling that if one believed absolutely in any cause, then one must have the confidence, the self-certainty, to go through with that particular course of action."
"I was constantly surrounded, I recall, by aunts, uncles, my father's intellectual companions, all of them raconteurs of some sort or the other."
"I was going to direct The Beatification of Area Boy in Kingston, Jamaica, an opportunity at which I leapt because I know Kingston very well. I've taught at the university there periodically as a visitor."
"I was placed in solitary confinement for a year and ten months out of the period in which I stayed in prison, which was just over two years."
"I'm not one of those writers I learned about who get up in the morning, put a piece of paper in their typewriter machine and start writing. That I've never understood."
"I'm not surrendering that space for some bunch of thugs and murderers and torturers and rapists and robbers. It's just unthinkable. So from that standpoint, you could say that I'm an optimist in the sense that I'm confident I will take it back."
"It isn't so much that I became more of an activist after my imprisonment, it's rather that the situation in Nigeria deteriorated to such an extent that the degree, the intensity, of my activism had to be elevated correspondingly."
"It takes a jaundiced view of the much-vaunted glorious past of Africa. And I suppose since then I've been doing nothing but the danse macabre in this political jungle of ours."
"It's been difficult, and without a question I've had moments when I just wondered whether we're not really pursuing an impossible ideal."
"Making the Abacha regime understand that the color of the skin makes no difference, that when you have a minority regime oppressing the majority, as in Apartheid South Africa, the treatment has got to be the same as was meted out to Apartheid South Africa."
"My horizon on humanity is enlarged by reading the writers of poems, seeing a painting, listening to some music, some opera, which has nothing at all to do with a volatile human condition or struggle or whatever. It enriches me as a human being."
"One thing I can tell you is this, that I am not a methodical writer."
"One, a mass movement from within, which, as you know, is constantly being put down brutally but which, again, regroups and moves forward as is happening right now as we are speaking."
"Power is domination, control, and therefore a very selective form of truth which is a lie."
"See, even despite pious statements to the contrary, much of the industrialized world has not yet come to terms with the recognition of the fallacy of what I call the strong man syndrome."
"That was the first time I went into voluntary exile and that act was to distance myself from an environment which I felt had failed to come to grasp with the significance of the civil war, its immorality, and the future consequences. In other words, everybody had a sense of euphoria."
"The novel, for me, was an accident. I really don't consider myself a novelist."
"Theater can respond immediately."
"There are different kinds of artists and very often, I'll be very frank with you, I wish I were a different kind."
"There's a kind of dynamic quality about theater and that dynamic quality expresses itself in relation to, first of all, the environment in which it's being staged; then the audience, the nature of the audience, the quality of the audience."
"There's something about the theater which makes my fingertips tingle."
"Very conscious of the fact that an effort was being made to destroy my mind, because I was deprived of books, deprived of any means of writing, deprived of human companionship. You never know how much you need it until you're deprived of it."
"Well, first of all I'll say that I come alive best in theater."
"Well, I was thoroughly surrounded and immersed in aspects of the Yoruba culture."
"Well, the first thing is that truth and power for me form an antithesis, an antagonism, which will hardly ever be resolved. I can define in fact, can simplify the history of human society, the evolution of human society, as a contest between power and freedom."
"When I first came out - I spoke just now about this need for human company, but after I first came out, I remember that after a few days I just couldn't stand so much company. It became too much again for me and I couldn't wait until I could go away and isolate myself somewhere."
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