Friday, March 22, 2013

Chinua Achebe: 22 powerful quotes by the late author

Chinua Achebe Quotes

The prolific writer and outspoken critic is dead but he left behind a powerful legacy. Read and share some of the quotes by the late Author - Prof.  Chinua Achebe.

If you don't like someone's story, you write your own.
– Chinua Achebe

"The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them."
– Chinua Achebe

"There is no moral obligation to write in a particular way. But there is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally oneself with power against the powerless."
– Chinua Achebe

Continue Reading...


"We shall all live. We pray for life, children, a good harvest and happiness. You will have what is good for you and I will have what is good for me. Let the kite perch and let the egret perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break."
– Chinua Achebe

"As a man danced so the drums were beaten for him."
– Chinua Achebe

"Whenever you see a toad jumping in broad daylight, then know that something is after its life."
– Chinua Achebe

"When I wrote Things Fall Apart, I couldn't have told anyone the day before it was accepted for publication that anybody was going to read it. There was no guarantee; nobody said to me, Go write this, we will publish it, and awe will read it; it was just there. But my brother-in-law, who was not a particularly voracious reader, told me that he read the novel through the night and it gave im a terrible headache the next morning. And I took that as an encouraging endorsement!"
– Chinua Achebe

"A proud heart can survive general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone."
– Chinua Achebe

"Every generation must recognize and embrace the task it is peculiarly designed by history and by providence to perform."
– Chinua Achebe

"The triumph of the written word is often attained when the writer achieves union and trust with the reader, who then becomes ready to be drawn deep into unfamiliar territory, walking in borrowed literary shoes so to speak, toward a deeper understanding of self or society, or of foreign peoples, cultures, and situations."
– Chinua Achebe

"We must hear all the stories... And by hearing all the stories, we will find points of contact and communication, and the world story, the Great Story, will have a chance to develop."
– Chinua Achebe

"The white man is very clever. He came quietly with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart."
– Chinua Achebe

There is that great proverb—that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter... Once I realized that, I had to be a writer.
– Chinua Achebe

"You cannot plant greatness as you plant yams or maize. Who ever planted an iroko tree — the greatest tree in the forest? You may collect all the iroko seeds in the world, open the soil and put them there. It will be in vain. The great tree chooses where to grow and we find it there, so it is with the greatness in men."
– Chinua Achebe

"In America there is really very little knowledge of the literature of the rest of the world. Of the literature of Latin America, yes, But that's not all that different in inspiration from that of America, or of Europe. One must go further. You don't even have to go too far in terms of geography - you can start with the Native Americans and listen to their poetry."
– Chinua Achebe

"If one finger brings oil it soils the others."
– Chinua Achebe

"I worry when somebody from one particular tradition stands up and says, "The novel is dead, the story is dead." I find this to be unfair, to put it mildly. You told your own story, and now you're announcing the novel is dead. Well, I haven't told mine yet. "
– Chinua Achebe

"I was conscripted by the story, and I was writing it at all times - whenever there was any opening. It felt like a sentence, an imprisonment of creativity."
– Chinua Achebe

"The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you do not stand in one place."
– Chinua Achebe

"There were several... instant rejections. Some did not even bother to read it, jaundiced by their impression that a book with an African backdrop had no "marketability." Some of the responders found the concept of an African novel amusing."
– Chinua Achebe

Joseph Conrad was a thoroughgoing racist. That this simple truth is glossed over in criticisms of his work is due to the fact that white racism against Africa is such a normal way of thinking that its manifestations go completely unremarked.
– Chinua Achebe

A good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it. Just think of the work you’ve set yourself to do, and do it as well as you can.
– Chinua Achebe

 22 powerful quotes by the late author  Chinua Achebe

3 comments: