Producing Art

In volume 2 of the Paris Review Interviews is a piece with James Baldwin. 

The last question: “How does it strike you that in many circles James Baldwin is known as a prophetic writer?”

Answer: “I don’t try to be prophetic, as I don’t sit down to write literature. It is simply this: a writer has to take all the risks of putting down what he sees. No one can tell him about that. No one can control that reality. It reminds me of something Pablo Picasso was supposed to have said to Gertrude Stein while he was painting her portrait. Gertrude said, ‘I don’t look like that.’ And Picasso replied, ‘You will.’ And he was right.

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