- Birthday, Books, Quotes, Reading, Writing

“Reading is pleasure and happiness to be alive or sadness to be alive and above all it’s knowledge and questions.”

Happy birthday, Roberto Bolaño! Here are some quotes from his writing.

“[T]he secret story is the one we’ll never know, although we’re living it from day to day, thinking we’re alive, thinking we’ve got it all under control and the stuff we overlook doesn’t matter. But every single damn thing matters! Only we don’t realize. We just tell ourselves that art runs on one track and life, our lives, on another, and we don’t realize that’s a lie.”

“We never stop reading, although every book comes to an end, just as we never stop living, although death is certain.”

“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.”

“Every hundred feet the world changes.”

“Reading is pleasure and happiness to be alive or sadness to be alive and above all it’s knowledge and questions.”

“Books are finite, sexual encounters are finite, but the desire to read and to fuck is infinite; it surpasses our own deaths, our fears, our hopes for peace.”

“If you’re going to say what you want to say, you’re going to hear what you don’t want to hear.”

“When you know something, you know it, and when you don’t, you’d better learn. And in the meantime, you should keep quiet, or at least speak only when what you say will advance the learning process.”

“There is a time for reciting poems and a time for fists.”

“[O]nly in chaos are we conceivable.”

“Nothing good ever comes of love. What comes of love is always something better.”

“You have to know how to look even if you don’t know what you’re looking for.”

“We interpret life at moments of the deepest desperation.”

“As time goes by, as time goes by, the whip-crack of the years, the precipice of illusions, the ravine that swallows up all human endeavor except the struggle to survive.”

“The world is alive and no living thing has any remedy. That is our fortune.”

“Metaphors are our way of losing ourselves in semblances or treading water in a sea of seeming.”

“Every book in the world is out there waiting to be read by me.”

“One should read Borges more.”

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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