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Nobel Speech and Acceptance

by Toni Morrison

About this title: Toni Morrison's speech, given at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm in December 1993, is a profound meditation on language and our responsibility towards it. She weaves her thoughts around a folk tale, which compares language with a fragile bird, a living being which can be paralysed or deadened by misuse. She attacks the obscuring language of the state, the vacuous soundbite language of the media, the rigid, limiting language of academia and science. It is an inspiring and bold statement - moving, allusive and powerful.

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