Ralph Ellison On Writing

E1E839C9-465B-4573-9A51-7CAA2E86C1E0Ralph Ellison (March 1, 1913 – April 16, 1994)

So why do I write, torturing myself to put it down? Because in spite of myself I’ve learned some things. Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labeled “file and forget,” and I can neither file nor forget. Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency. Why should I be the one to dream this nightmare?