“The state of birth, suffering, love, and death are extreme states-extreme, universal, and inescapable. We all know this, but would rather not know it.”-James Baldwin-The Creative Process from Creative America, Ridge Press, 1962.
My author love of the day goes out to James Baldwin. I’ve been on a bit of a Baldwin kick of late. His writing is accessible and heady all at once. I enjoy the truths he exposes and lays bare for all of us to examine. As he states in his essay The Creative Process, “The precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate the darkness, blaze roads through the vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.”
Give Baldwin a chance if you haven’t before, you won’t be sorry. Whether its his semi-autobiographical novel “Go Tell It on the Mountain” or his short story “Sonny’s Blues” let this 20th Century intellectual take up some of that headspace that you’re using to cruise the internets. I do believe that he adhered to his ideal of making the world a more human dwelling place by sharing his mind with us and challenging us to honestly consider social issues that plague our society and keep us all from moving forward together.