Amitav Ghosh Quotes

Amitav Ghosh is a renowned Indian author known for his works that blend historical narrative with rich, intricate storytelling. Here we share some most Popular quotes of Amitav Ghosh.

Amitav Ghosh Quotes

Full NameAmitav Ghosh
Date of BirthJuly 11, 1956
Place of BirthKolkata, India
Education– The Doon School, Dehradun
– St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University
– Delhi School of Economics
– University of Oxford (Doctorate in Social Anthropology)
Notable Works– The Circle of Reason
– The Shadow Lines
– The Calcutta Chromosome
– The Glass Palace
– The Ibis Trilogy (Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, Flood of Fire)
– Gun Island
Literary Awards– Sahitya Akademi Award
– Arthur C. Clarke Award
– Jnanpith Award (2018)
– Man Booker Prize nominee
Non-Fiction Works– In an Antique Land
– The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable
Themes– History and Memory
– Identity and Migration
– Colonialism and Its Impact
– Climate Change and the Environment
– Literature and Storytelling
– Human Experience and Emotions

Amitav Ghosh Quotes On History and Memory

  1. “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
    • This quote reflects Ghosh’s fascination with history and its continuing influence on the present. He often explores how historical events shape current identities and cultures.
  2. “How had it happened that when they spoke, the two of them were able to say so much, and yet never able to find the words they needed?”
    • From “The Shadow Lines,” this quote captures the complexities of communication and the gaps that often exist between what we want to say and what we convey.

Amitav Ghosh’s Quotes On Identity and Migration

  1. “We had never seen anything like that: where we came from, such things were not supposed to happen. Everything had a meaning; everything was decipherable.”
    • This speaks to the disorientation and search for meaning that often accompany migration, a recurring theme in Ghosh’s works.
  2. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
    • Highlighting the significance of acknowledging the contributions of both men and women in shaping history and society.

Amitav Ghosh’s Quotes On Colonialism and Its Impact

Amitav Ghosh Quotes: “To use the past to justify the present is bad enough—but it's just as bad to use the present to justify the past.”
  1. “To use the past to justify the present is bad enough—but it’s just as bad to use the present to justify the past.”
    • From “Sea of Poppies,” this quote challenges the reader to critically evaluate historical narratives and their implications.
  2. “The trouble with boundaries, with borders, is that they don’t just create separation…they also create places of exceptionalism and extremity.”
    • Ghosh addresses the divisive nature of borders, both physical and metaphorical, and their role in fostering conflict.

Amitav Ghosh’s Quotes On Climate Change and the Environment

  1. “Climate change is not just a scientific fact or a political concern, it is also a matter of culture, of imagination, and of the human spirit.”
    • From “The Great Derangement,” emphasizes the multifaceted impact of climate change and the need for a holistic approach to address it.
  2. “The Anthropocene is not an issue that is a single story, but a multi-stranded narrative.”
    • Ghosh highlights the complexity of the current geological epoch characterized by significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems.

Amitav Ghosh Quotes On Literature and Storytelling

  1. “Fiction is not merely the imaginary and the unreal; it is the novel in which the writer must reveal the shape of reality.”
    • Reflecting his belief in the power of fiction to uncover deeper truths about human existence.
  2. “Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed of thought, an entire ecosystem of spiritual possibilities.”
    • A beautiful metaphor illustrating the richness and significance of linguistic diversity.

Amitav Ghosh’s Quotes On Human Experience and Emotions

Amitav Ghosh Quotes: “What is it to die but to be reduced to the knowledge of a single fact—the fact of dying? What is it to live but to multiply facts?”
  1. “What is it to die but to be reduced to the knowledge of a single fact—the fact of dying? What is it to live but to multiply facts?”
    • This contemplative quote delves into the existential reflections on life and death.
  2. “What you can’t imagine, you can’t fear.”
    • This powerful statement explores the limits of human imagination and its role in shaping our fears and anxieties.

Other Amitav Ghosh Quotes

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“People like my grandmother, who have no home but in memory, learn to be very skilled in the art of recollection.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“That which a man takes for himself no one can deny him.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“Recognition is famously a passage from ignorance to knowledge.”

– Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh

“Nobody knows, nobody can ever know, not even in memory, because there are moments in time that are not knowable.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“Similarly, at exactly the time when it has become clear that global warming is in every sense a collective predicament, humanity finds itself in the thrall of a dominant culture in which the idea of the collective has been exiled from politics, economics, and literature alike.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“To bend the work of nature to your will; to make the trees of the earth useful to human beings – what could be more admirable, more exciting than this? That is what I would say to any boy who has his life before him.”

– Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh

“If the charter of your liberties entails death and despair for untold multitudes, then it is nothing but a license for slaughter.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“Language was both his livelihood and his addiction and he was often preyed upon by a near irresistible compulsion to eavesdrop on conversations in public places.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“Democracy is a wonderful thing, Mr Burnham,’ he said wistfully. ‘It is a marvellous tamasha that keeps the common people busy so that men like ourselves can take care of all matters of importance. I hope one day India will also be able to enjoy these advantages – and China too, of course.”

– Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh

“The only way to find out was to try.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“The absence of food doesn’t make a man forsake hunger-it only makes him hungrier.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“I suppose everyone finds the despotisms of other peoples hard to comprehend.”

– Amitav Ghosh

“Just as novels have come to be seen as narratives of identity, so too has politics become, for many, a search for personal authenticity, a journey of self-discovery.” — Amitav Ghosh

“Is it not amazing, Puggly dear, that whenever we begin to congratulate ourselves on the breadth of our knowledge of the world, we discover that there are multitudes of people, in every corner of the earth, who have seen vastly more than we can ever hope to?” — Amitav Ghosh

“If you’re in command, it’s always your fault.” — Amitav Ghosh

“This is how power is eclipsed: in a moment of vivid realism, between the waning of one fantasy of governance and its replacement by the next; in an instant when the world springs free of its mooring of dreams and reveals itself to be girdled in the pathways of survival and self-preservation.” — Amitav Ghosh

“How do you fight an enemy who fights from neither enmity nor anger but in submission to orders from superiors, without protest and without conscience?” — Amitav Ghosh

“Oh shame on you, who call yourself a Christian! Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?” — Amitav Ghosh

“Was it possible that some men possessed so great a force of character that they could stamp themselves upon their words such that no matter where they were read, or when, or in what language, their own distinctive tones would always be heard?” — Amitav Ghosh

“Jesus Christ is Free Trade and Free Trade is Jesus Christ.” Truer words, I believe, were never spoken. If it is God’s will that opium be used as an instrument to open China to his teachings, then so be it.” — Amitav Ghosh

“And to imagine other forms of human existence is exactly the challenge that is posed by the climate crisis: for if there is one thing that global warming has made perfectly clear it is that to think about the world only as it is amounts to a formula for collective suicide.” — Amitav Ghosh

“The Tang went into decline and people became discontented. There was hunger and unrest, and as is common at such times, the troublemakers looked to place the blame on the foreigners.” — Amitav Ghosh

“Sometimes, the lascars would gather between the bows to listen to the stories of the greybeards. There was the steward, Cornelius Pinto: a grey-haired Catholic, from Goa, he claimed to have been around the world twice, sailing in every kind of ship, with every kind of sailor – including Finns, who were known to be the warlocks and wizards of the sea, capable of conjuring up winds with a whistle.” — Amitav Ghosh

“That the world of today presents all the symptoms of demonic possession.” — Amitav Ghosh

“Some day, following the example of men like themselves, said Mr Fraser, the Chinese too would take to Free Trade:.” — Amitav Ghosh

Here we’ve shared a selection of some of the most popular quotes by Amitav Ghosh. Each quote encapsulates profound insights into various aspects of life, society, politics, and human nature. From reflections on memory and identity to critiques of power and globalization, Ghosh’s words resonate with readers around the world, offering both wisdom and contemplation.

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