Top 9 Quotes & Sayings by Clarence Major

Explore popular quotes and sayings by an American novelist Clarence Major.
Clarence Major

Clarence Major is an American poet, painter, and novelist; winner of the 2015 "Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts", presented by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He was awarded the 2016 PEN Oakland/Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Socially and politically, we seem to be living in dire times, worse times than in the past. But there were far worse horrors in our past. The writer's role is to be a truth sayer. I sincerely believe that each society, each country lives by a particular fantasy vision, a fantasy vision of itself. The truth of how they live is hardly ever faced.
A muse is something that serves a poet well early in his or her career. In later years one writers out of one's own driven inspiration. One learns to find inspiration rather than waiting for it to come for a visit. I can find inspiration almost anywhere.
The prospect of Hillary Clinton not winning the presidency opens up a vast dark hole, an unknown, beyond which it is impossible to know what would happen to race relations or anything else we, as a county, want to improve. It has surprised me that Trump has done so well. I used to think the clamor for Trump was simply part of the rightwing backlash against eight years of President Obama. But perhaps it is that and more than that. There is a lot of suspicion, fear, mistrust, anger and hatred out there.
I've never considered soundtracks for what I write. Nor have I considered computer drawing or painting. As a painter, I'm still trying to perfect what I started out doing with brushes, pen and ink, paint, etc. The transition, for me, from typewriter to computer was a big step. I am now very comfortable with writing on a computer but it took awhile. Because I did make that big step I won't rule out what happens in the future.
Life can be unsettling. Writers have always gravitated to conflict, unhappiness and disturbing themes. We as readers would get bored pretty quickly if stories were about all the pleasant things in life. Since we know our troubles are always coming we want to see in our fiction examples of how others have dealt with them.
My fiction is based on both my own experience transformed, altered, juggled and changed to suit the demands of composition, character, and plot. If I see a theme emerging in a story I will likely take it up and develop it. I hardly ever set out with a conscious plan and if I do the story usually takes over and takes me where it wants to go.
The writer writes about what happened in order to make it make sense, to put it in perspective, to turn it into art; and art becomes the vehicle on which we ride out the truth of our experiences.
Despite the obstacles of race and class, I was always taught that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. African-American writers, for me, were a beacon, a guiding force.
In the interest of the ethical and moral health of the country, the writer, the poet, the artist, the thinker, must hold a mirror up his or her country and say, look, this is who we are, this is how we live, this is our past, we must own it, forgive ourselves, transcend our transgressions, and become better people. Turning the tide must be a continuous effort.
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