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“The question [says Baldwin] is banal but one of the real troubles with living is that living is so banal. Everyone, after all, goes the same dark road – and the road has a trick of being most dark, most...

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— James Baldwin

Giovanni's Room By James BaldwinLeave your thoughts

“The question [says Baldwin] is banal but one of the real troubles with living is that living is so banal. Everyone, after all, goes the same dark road – and the road has a trick of being most dark, most treacherous, when it seems most bright- and it’s true that nobody stays in the garden of Eden…Perhaps everybody has a garden of Eden; I don’t know; but they have scarcely seen their garden before they see the flaming sword. Then, perhaps, life only offers the choice of remembering the garden or forgetting it. Either or: it takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, it takes a hero to do both. People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence; and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes and rare.”

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