“It occurred to me that I was unhappy. And it didn’t feel so very terrible. No urgency, nothing. I could slip out of my life on a slow wave like this—it didn’t matter. I don’t have to be happy. All I have to do is hold on to something and wait.”
- from Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox
Every man and woman I pass on the street feels trapped by the boundaries of their skin, but, in fact, they are delicate receiving instruments whose spirituality and corporality vibrate in one specific manner because they have been set at one specific pitch. Each of them bears within himself a multitude of souls and, I maintain, of bodies as well, but only one soul and one body are at their disposal, the others remaining unliberated. By changing civilizations, time continually liberates new souls and bodies in man, and thus time is not a serpent devouring its own tail, though ordinary men and women do not know this.
— Czeslaw Milosz, from Visions from San Francisco Bay (1975) translated from the Polish by Richard Lourie
Alvin Taylor at a salon getting a perm in Los Angeles, California, 1974
From UCLA Archives
A painted landscape undoubtedly says something else to us than does the same landscape in nature; its effect on our soul is different. But not because a painting is more beautiful than nature, no, a painting will always be incompetent beauty, beauty spoiled by the clumsy hand of man. It is possible, though, that this is the reason behind the attraction. The picture shows us the beauty that was felt, seen by someone like the painter. The picture not only says: “this landscape is beautiful,” but also: “I saw this and was struck by it and that is why I painted it.”
— Witold Gombrowicz, from Diary (1953-1969) translated by Lillian Vallee
Gang Starr - Mass Appeal  [Prod. By DJ Premier]
W.E.B Du Bois, Burghart Du Bois, and Nina Du Bois.
The commander of the prison, Christopher Columbus, invited me to a banquet. After much feasting and triumph (I was forced to watch them) the commander asked me to go down to the river. When we came to the edge of the river he showed me a written command he had received from an anonymous source to execute us all—myself, Teddy, Alice, Patrice, David, my mother—and he immediately carried out this command. We were all beheaded and our bodies taken to Concord, Massachusetts, and our heads were carried with speed to a terminal that resembled Union Station in Washington. The cause for the murders the commander said was that he had intercepted the character letters for Teddy and they revealed secret intelligence with the king of Spain. “But I have not met the king of Spain, ” my head replies. I can’t help but think how like the Ghost in Hamlet we look. “But I have not met the king of Spain” I reply over and over.
— Adrienne Kennedy, Letter to My Students on My Sixty-first Birthday by Suzanne Alexander from The Adrienne Kennedy Reader
"Nothing Like It" (produced by Kanye West)
Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993)
…we pretend before ourselves and others that we are after the truth, whereas in reality, the truth is merely a pretext for our personal flight in discussion, for our, succinctly speaking, pleasure. When you play tennis, you don’t try to convince others that you are interested in anything else but the game. Yet when you toss arguments around, you do not want to admit that truth, belief, worldview, ideal, humanity, or art have become a ball and that the important thing is who beats whom, who shines, or who will distinguish himself in the scuffle that so nicely fills out the afternoon.
— Witold Gombrowicz, from Diary (1953-1969) translated from the Polish by Lillian Vallee
La Noire de… (Black Girl) | dir. Ousmane Sembène (1966)