“I think of beauty as an absolute necessity. I don’t think it’s a privilege or an indulgence, it’s not even a quest. I think it’s almost like knowledge, which is to say, it’s what we were born for. I think of finding, incorporating and then representing beauty is what humans do, with or without authorities telling us what it is, I think it would exist in any case. The startle and the wonder of being in this place, which is part of our pity I think, our feeling of being bereft, is this overwhelming beauty, some of it’s natural, some of it’s manmade, some of it’s casual, some of it’s a mere glance. It’s an absolute necessity. I don’t think we can do without it any more than we can do without dreams or oxygen.”

– Toni Morrison, Interview in 1992, The Paris Review

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