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Wole Soyinka's Quotes

Wole Soyinka profile photo

Born: 1934-07-13
Profession: Dramatist
Nation: Nigerian
Biography of Wole Soyinka

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I ceased using words like optimism and pessimism a long time ago.

Tags: Optimism, Time, Words

One thing I can tell you is this, that I am not a methodical writer.

Tags: Methodical, Tell, Writer

There are different kinds of artists and very often, I'll be very frank with you, I wish I were a different kind.

Tags: Artists, Often, Wish

There's something about the theater which makes my fingertips tingle.

Tags: Fingertips, Makes, Theater

Well, first of all I'll say that I come alive best in theater.

Tags: Alive, Best, Theater

One, a mass movement from within, which, as you know, is constantly being put down brutally but which, again, regroups and moves forward as is happening right now as we are speaking.

Tags: Again, Forward, Put

The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.

Tags: Criticism, Freedom, Greatest

Power is domination, control, and therefore a very selective form of truth which is a lie.

Tags: Lie, Power, Truth

And I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.

Tags: Best, Learning, Work

And gradually they're beginning to recognize the fact that there's nothing more secure than a democratic, accountable, and participatory form of government. But it's sunk in only theoretically, it has not yet sunk in completely in practical terms.

Tags: Beginning, Fact, Government

Even when I'm writing plays I enjoy having company and mentally I think of that company as the company I'm writing for.

Tags: Company, Enjoy, Writing

But when you're deprived of it for a lengthy period then you value human companionship. But you have to survive and so you devise all kinds of mental exercises and it's amazing.

Tags: Amazing, Human, Value

Books and all forms of writing are terror to those who wish to suppress the truth.

Tags: Truth, Wish, Writing

There is only one home to the life of a river-mussel; there is only one home to the life of a tortoise; there is only one shell to the soul of man: there is only one world to the spirit of our race. If that world leaves its course and smashes on boulders of the great void, whose world will give us shelter?

Tags: Great, Home, Life

But the ultimate lesson is just sit down and write. That's all.

Tags: Lesson, Sit, Write

I consider the process of gestation just as important as when you're actually sitting down putting words to the paper.

Tags: Actually, Process, Words

I found, when I left, that there were others who felt the same way. We'd meet, they'd come and seek me out, we'd talk about the future. And I found that their depression and pessimism was every bit as acute as mine.

Tags: Depression, Future, Others

I grew up in an atmosphere where words were an integral part of culture.

Tags: Atmosphere, Culture, Words

The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.

Tags: Face, Keep, Silent

My horizon on humanity is enlarged by reading the writers of poems, seeing a painting, listening to some music, some opera, which has nothing at all to do with a volatile human condition or struggle or whatever. It enriches me as a human being.

Tags: Human, Music, Struggle

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Much more quotes by Wole Soyinka below the page.

Looking at faces of people, one gets the feeling there's a lot of work to be done.

Tags: Done, Feeling, Work

The hand that dips into the bottom of the pot will eat the biggest snail.

Tags: Biggest, Eat, Hand

Well, the first thing is that truth and power for me form an antithesis, an antagonism, which will hardly ever be resolved. I can define in fact, can simplify the history of human society, the evolution of human society, as a contest between power and freedom.

Tags: History, Power, Truth

I don't really consider myself a novelist, it just came out purely by accident.

Tags: Accident, Consider, Novelist

I think that feeling that if one believed absolutely in any cause, then one must have the confidence, the self-certainty, to go through with that particular course of action.

Tags: Action, Confidence, Feeling

But theater, because of its nature, both text, images, multimedia effects, has a wider base of communication with an audience. That's why I call it the most social of the various art forms.

Tags: Art, Nature, Why

See, even despite pious statements to the contrary, much of the industrialized world has not yet come to terms with the recognition of the fallacy of what I call the strong man syndrome.

Tags: Call, Contrary, Strong

There's a kind of dynamic quality about theater and that dynamic quality expresses itself in relation to, first of all, the environment in which it's being staged; then the audience, the nature of the audience, the quality of the audience.

Tags: Audience, Nature, Quality

Very conscious of the fact that an effort was being made to destroy my mind, because I was deprived of books, deprived of any means of writing, deprived of human companionship. You never know how much you need it until you're deprived of it.

Tags: Human, Mind, Writing

The novel, for me, was an accident. I really don't consider myself a novelist.

Tags: Accident, Consider, Novel

I'm not one of those writers I learned about who get up in the morning, put a piece of paper in their typewriter machine and start writing. That I've never understood.

Tags: Learned, Morning, Writing