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Ben Okri Quotes

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Ben Okri quotes

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.

The best writing is not about the writer, the best writing is absolutely not about the writer, it's about us, it's about the reader.

We have fallen into this very mean description of humanity. Naturalism in fiction is too reductive in its definition of human beings.

The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing.

Don't despair too much if you see beautiful things destroyed, if you see them perish. Because the best things are always growing in secret.

Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.

Our time here is magic! It's the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique, in. It's the only space.

I learned that life will go through changes - up and down and up again. It's what life does.

The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.

The strange thing about Africa is how past, present and future come together in a kind of rough jazz, if you like.

Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.

I lived rough, by my wits, was homeless, lived on the streets, lived on friends' floors, was happy, was miserable.

Politics is the art of the possible; creativity is the art of the impossible.

I know that human beings are capable of anything.

To sustain your belief through situations that completely undermine it is quite something.

One of the greatest gifts my father gave me - unintentionally - was witnessing the courage with which he bore adversity. We had a bit of a rollercoaster life with some really challenging financial periods. He was always unshaken, completely tranquil, the same ebullient, laughing, jovial man.

When you can imagine you begin to create and when you begin to create you realize that you can create a world that you prefer to live in, rather than a world that you're suffering in.

I was born left-handed, but I was made to use my other hand. When I was writing 'Famished Road,' which was very long, I got repetitive stress syndrome. My right wrist collapsed, so I started using my left hand. The prose I wrote with my left hand came out denser, so later on I had to change it.

Reading, like writing, is a creative act. If readers only bring a narrow range of themselves to the book, then they'll only see their narrow range reflected in it.

You see, I was told stories, we were all told stories as kids in Nigeria. We had to tell stories that would keep one another interested, and you weren't allowed to tell stories that everybody else knew. You had to dream up new ones.