Although history should not become a straitjacket, which overwhelms and binds, neither should it be forgotten. One must critique it, test it, confront it, and understand it in order to achieve a freedom that is more than license, to achieve true, adult agency. If you penetrate the seduction…then it becomes possible to confront your own history — to forget what ought to be forgotten and use what is useful — such true agency is made possible.

– Toni Morrison, “The Art of Fiction No. 134” in The Paris Review

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