The civilization of the twentieth century cannot be universal except by being a dynamic synthesis of all the cultural values of all civilizations. It will be monstrous unless it is seasoned with the salt of negri-tude, for it will be without the savor of humanity.
The equilibrium you admire in me is an unstable one, difficult to maintain. My inner life was split early between the call of the Ancestors and the call of Europe, between the exigencies of black-African culture and those of modern life.
I have always taken care to put an idea or emotion behind my words. I have made it a habit to be suspicious of the mere music of words.
Art is animated by invisible forces that rule the universe.
Let us listen to the voices of our Forebears ... In the smoky cabin, souls that wish us well are murmuring.
What if this were Hell, this absence of sleep, this poet's desert, this pain of living, this dying of not dying, this anguish of shadows, this passion over death and light.
The [priest] was really my teacher, because I reacted against the things he told me.
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