Words matter. These are the best Hilton Als Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
I don’t know what else teaches you as much as writing. Perhaps reading. So if I don’t have one or the other in the course of the day, I feel old.
I think that when I’m telling a story, I’m doing the best I can to tell the story as fully as I can, and if there are various fractures that happen in the story, then that’s just the very thing that the story is as opposed to my looking for avenues of difference in one story. They just really do exist. For me, anyway.
If you want to take writing on, you should pay writing the respect it deserves, which is to say, reading it.
I’m attracted to people who work their little plot of land and cultivate it and cultivate it.
There is not enough time for anything, ever.
I believe that one reason I began writing essays – a form without a form, until you make it – was this: you didn’t have to borrow from an emotionally and visually upsetting past, as one did in fiction, apparently, to write your story.
I am always attracted to people who are not myself but are.
I think that writers are best served by sticking to their writing. Not having loads of theories about the best way to position the writing. I think that if the writing is good and the point of view is strong, the writing is going to take care of itself.
Our wishes are our most reliable mirror, and the black-and-white movies I’m most drawn to are about artists who suffer because art is a noble thing; suffering is such a small price to pay for the imagination.
In general, what we really want is a feeling when we read anything that the author has explored the territory as dutifully and as thoroughly as their spirit allows and as their heart allows.
Dramas about addiction can be exciting to watch. And then dispiriting. Exciting because degradation is fascinating to follow from the relative safety and smugness of an ‘appropriate’ life, and dispiriting because if all that sad mayhem can happen to this or that character, what’s to keep it from happening to me or you?
When you work at a magazine, you have to tell the truth. When you’re not working in that format, it’s fun to see where your mind takes you when the dictates have nothing to do with anyone but yourself.
‘Moonlight’ undoes our expectations as viewers, and as human beings, too. As we watch, another movie plays in our minds: real-life footage of the many forms of damage done to black men, which can sometimes lead them to turn that hateful madness on their own kind, passing on the poison that was their inheritance.
I used to think that the feeling of alienation that I would have was just me, but I realise that it’s also a symptom of the modern world.
I think someone like Khandi Alexander, who’s now on ‘Treme,’ is one of the most extraordinary actresses I’ve seen in years. But she’s dependent on someone brilliant like David Simon to realize that and to give her a forum. Tyler Perry’s not interested in that kind of nuance because it doesn’t sell.
For black people, being around white people is sometimes like taking care of babies you don’t like.
I think one of the things that started to hinder Baldwin as an artist later on was that he became really aware of power, so he wanted it, too. But if you look at the work before that, before ‘The Fire Next Time’ put him on the cover of ‘Time Magazine,’ it was much more intimate and a much more internal conversation.
I think, what’s the point of writing a book that you would get in one sitting?
Although the civil-rights movement did a lot to change how black life was dramatized on the American stage in the fifties and sixties, white composers and lyricists often still rely on familiar tropes when it comes to representing black women in musicals.
I don’t think that there are many, many strong, black male role models who provide a certain kind of really American, Southern-based comfort that Madea grows out of. She’s a signpost in our Obama world of traditional Christian values.
My self encompasses a lot of different things.
Racism seduces us with its desire to categorize, shutting out the living and breathing and ‘different’ world all around us.
I love Andre Leon Talley as a person.
In the contemporary world, artists are almost entirely self-referential.
I’m not one of those people who’s against all-black productions of Tennessee Williams plays, but there are lot more complex and natural ways to bring people of color into the theater.
Of course a magazine is shaped by its editor, and each editor is different.
I didn’t like ’12 Years a Slave’ because it was playing to the Spielbergian model of redemption.
Broadway is not about surprises. It’s about rewarding the putrid, formulaic crap that makes Broadway Broadway.
What I feel is there are certain demands that you have to satisfy in any piece of writing. When it’s just for me, it’s just for me, but if it’s a piece for a particular publication, I know what they’re going to ask for.
My love of performers is not really different than my love for painters. Everyone’s really high-strung and trying to do the best they can.
One of the things that’s great about writing for a magazine is that every week you get to be a different person. You’re writing different things all the time and not slogging along for years on something.
I suppose that there are many novels that are set during the summer because it’s a lonely time of year. Friends come and go, comfort comes and goes, which makes it a perfect time of year to indulge in melancholia.
I love writing. Writing has been very good to me.