Many people have told me that once they learn of Madam Walker's accomplishments they are surprised, even embarrassed, that they have never heard of her. But they shouldn't be. Her extraordinary story was simply omitted from the history books.
Only people who live outside cities realize the size of them. London turns out to be huge; there are great swaths, vast panoramas, a whole diaspora I'd never imagined. The place I live in tends to be manageably small, a few familiar journeys and destinations.
The French are never happy coming to London; this is an ancient and comforting enmity.
A lot of London's image never was. There never was a Dickensian London, or a Shakespearean London, or a swinging London.
If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.
Never forget me, because if I thought you would, I'd never leave.
So with truth - there is a certain moment when one can say, this is the truth and here I put a dot, a stop, and I go to another thing. A judge has to put an end to a deliberation. But for a historian, there's never an end to the past. It can go on and on and on.
We always knew how to honor fallen soldiers. They were killed for our sake, they went out on our mission. But how are we to mourn a random man killed in a terrorist attack while sitting in a cafe? How do you mourn a housewife who got on a bus and never returned?
Who made the world I cannot tell; 'Tis made, and here am I in hell. My hand, though now my knuckles bleed, I never soiled with such a deed.
It came about as follows: over the years when I was involved in dianetics, I wrote the beginnings of many stories. I would get an idea, and then write the beginning, and then never touch it again.