Toni Morrison on Goodness

From Angela Chen’s interview, published in The Guardian
toni-morrison-portrait
Toni Morrison

“I just think goodness is more interesting,” Morrison said. “Evil is constant. You can think of different ways to murder people, but you can do that at age five. But you have to be an adult to consciously, deliberately be good – and that’s complicated.”

While researching goodness, she found texts by psychiatrists and psychologists suggesting that altruism was simply “something wrong with you, almost like a deviant behavior”. Disappointed by these reductive conclusions, she wanted to work a deeper understanding of the concepts into her books.

“I want very much to have every book I write end with knowledge,” Morrison said. “You begin at a certain place, a literary journey, and at the very end there has to be the acquisition of knowledge which is virtue, which is good, which is helpful – somebody knows something at the end that they did not know before.”

Read the full interview in The Guardian.

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