Presenting at the Grammys last night, music mogul Jennifer Lopez quoted from Nobel Prize-winning author — and Nation editorial board member — Toni Morrison‘s moving essay: “No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear.”
First published by The Nation in the wake of George W. Bush’s reelection, and excerpted for the occasion of the magazine’s 150th anniversary, Morrison’s inspirational words are a call to action for artists, journalists, and creatives of all kind. Our work is needed as much — if not more — “in times of dread” as times of hope. Indeed, she wrote:
“The Nation, with its history of disruptive, probing, intelligent essays sharing wide space equally with art criticism, reviews, poetry and drama, is as crucial now as it has been for 150 years.“
“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self pity, no need for silence, and no room for fear. We do language. That is how civilizations heal.”
“I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge-even wisdom. Like art.”
Toni Morrison lecture at West Point Military Academy in March, 2013.
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
About the Author: Recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize, member of The Nation‘s editorial advisory board and author of Love, Beloved, Paradise, Jazz and The Bluest Eye, among other books.
About The Nation: Founded by abolitionists in 1865, The Nation is America’s leading source of investigative reporting and spirited debate on issues of import to the progressive community. Through changing times and fashions, The Nation and TheNation.com offer consistently informed and inspired reporting and analysis of breaking news, politics, social issues and the arts-never faltering in our editorial commitment to what Nation Publisher Emeritus Victor Navasky has called “a dissenting, independent, trouble-making, idea-launching journal of critical opinion.”
Source: Press Release