The special issue that The Nation has published to celebrate its 150th anniversary also includes the article by the American woman writer Toni Morrison, No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear. With both the clarity and the poetic ability which over the years we have learned to recognize in her works, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993 calls into question the responsibility of artists in today’s world. Well aware of the crises the world is going through, Morrison encourages her colleagues: “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, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal”. The creator of memorable female figures, suffering but never quelled, thus concludes by affirming that yes, it is indeed important not to ignore the cries of pain of the bruised and bleeding world and 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”.
St. Peter’s Square
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