A Tony Morrison Quote: “Don’t Tell Us What to Believe, What to Fear”

“Make up a story... For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief's wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul.” -- Toni Morrison, The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993

Why is it that much of the most interesting writing advice is purposely ambiguous and cloaked in metaphor?

This quote is so full of different writing advice that I had to break it up a little. From motivation to ego to personal truth to a warning against proselytizing to a metaphor telling us to show -not tell: that’s a lot for one quote!


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