Michael Fogleman's Reviews > Night Train to Lisbon

Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier
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's review
May 27, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: autodidactism2010, fiction

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it was perhaps too slow or philosophical for the average American, and the translation has some rough edges, but neither of these should prevent the thoughtful person from seeing the beautiful wisdom hidden within this book.

Philosophy, intrigue, coffee, chess, cigarettes, memories of characters, wisdom, Europe... Mmm.

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Quotes Michael Liked

Pascal Mercier
“Gregorius was never to forget this scene. They were his first Portuguese words in the real world and they worked. That words could cause something in the world, make someone move or stop, laugh or cry: even as a child he had found it enigmatic and it had never stopped impressing him. How did words do that? Wasn't it like magic?But at this moment, the mystery seemed greater than usual, for these were words he hadn't even known yesterday morning.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon
tags: words

Pascal Mercier
“[Vanity] is an unrecognised form of stupidity, you have to forget the cosmic meaninglessness of all our acts to be able to be vain and that's a glaring form of stupidity.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Pascal Mercier
“Human beings can't bear silence. It would mean that they would bear themselves.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Pascal Mercier
What is it that we call loneliness. It can't simply be the absence of others, you can be alone and not lonely, and you can be among people and yet be lonely. So what is it? ... it isn't only that others are there, that they fill up the space next to us. But even when they celebrate us or give advice in a friendly conversation, clever, sensitive advice: even then we can be lonely. So loneliness is not something simply connected with the presence of others or with what they do. Then what? What on earth?”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

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