Literary Quotations
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ROBERTO BOLAÑO QUOTES


2666 (2004)

Virtue ... makes its home in a dark cave amid cave dwellers, some dangerous indeed.

The Part About the Critics

Nothing is ever behind us.

The Part About the Critics

Coincidence isn't a luxury, it's the flip side of fate.

The Part About the Critics

Coincidence, if you'll permit the simile, is like the manifestation of God at every moment on our planet. A senseless God making senseless gestures at his senseless creatures.

The Part About the Critics

The moon is fat and the night air is so pure it seems edible.

The Part About the Critics

People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth.

The Part About Amalfitano

Poetry is the one thing that isn't contaminated, the one thing that isn't part of the game.

The Part About Amalfitano

Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wonds and stench.

The Part About Amalfitano

In dreams, as in the Gospels, one usually possesses the gift of tongues.

The Part About Amalfitano

Any star you could see ... would live for probably millions of years. Either that or it might have been dead for millions of years, and the traveler who gazed up at it would never know. It might be a live star or it might be a dead star. Sometimes, depending on your point of view ... it doesn't matter, since the stars you see at night exist in the realm of semblances. So the traveler ... doesn't know whether what he's staring up at in the vast night are stars or whether they're dreams.

The Part About Fate

The only movie theaters that were worth anything ... were the old ones, remember them? those huge theaters where your heart leaped when they turned out the lights. Those places were great, they were real movie theaters, more like churches than anything else, high ceilings, red curtains, pillars, aisles with worn carpeting, box seats, orchestra seats, balcony seats, theaters built at a time when going to the movies was still a religious experience, routine but religious, theaters that were gradually demolished to build banks or supermarkets or multiplexes.

The Part About Fate

If life is misery, why do we endure it?

The Part About the Crimes

Isn't reality an insatiable AIDS-riddled whore?

The Part About the Crimes

The truth is like a strung-out pimp in the middle of a storm.

The Part About the Crimes

One never knows anything about one's father. A father ... is a passageway immersed in the deepest darkness, where we stumble blindly seeking a way out.

The Part About Archimboldi

Wonderful, wonderful, yet again the sword of fate severs the head from the hydra of chance.

The Part About Archimboldi

Death, in the Eastern tradition, was only a passage. What wasn't clear ... was toward what place, what reality, that passage led.

The Part About Archimboldi

Literature is a vast forest and the masterpieces are the lakes, the towering trees or strange trees, the lovely, eloquent flowers, the hidden caves, but a forest is also made up of ordinary trees, patches of grass, puddles, clinging vines, mushrooms, and little wildflowers.

The Part About Archimboldi

The truth is we never stop being children, terrible children covered in sores and knotty veins and tumors and age spots, but ultimately children.

The Part About Archimboldi

History, which is a simple whore, has no decisive moments but is a proliferation of instants, brief interludes that vie with one another in monstrousness.

The Part About Archimboldi