James Baldwin quote: “You think your pain…

James Baldwin Portrait

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was Dostoevsky and Dickens who taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who ever had been alive. Only if we face these open wounds in ourselves can we understand them in other people. An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are. He has to tell, because nobody else can tell, what it is like to be alive.”

– James Baldwin

James Baldwin quote: “You think your pain… sources: James Baldwin Wikiquote / As quoted in “Doom and glory of knowing who you are” by Jane Howard, in LIFE magazine, Vol. 54, No. 21 (24 May 1963), p. 89 / Portrait of James Baldwin taken in 1969 by Allan Warren (no changes made) – Wikimedia