2666 Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
2666 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
32,135 ratings, 4.21 average rating, 3,793 reviews
Open Preview
2666 Quotes Showing 1-30 of 217
“Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people's ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“So everything lets us down, including curiosity and honesty and what we love best. Yes, said the voice, but cheer up, it's fun in the end.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“The sky, at sunset, looked like a carnivorous flower.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Only in chaos are we conceivable.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Without turning, the pharmacist answered that he liked books like The Metamorphosis, Bartleby, A Simple Heart, A Christmas Carol. And then he said that he was reading Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. Leaving aside the fact that A Simple Heart and A Christmas Carol were stories, not books, there was something revelatory about the taste of this bookish young pharmacist, who ... clearly and inarguably preferred minor works to major ones. He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecouchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze a path 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 wounds and stench.”
Roberto Bolano, 2666
“Every hundred feet the world changes”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“The pain, or the memory of pain, that here was literally sucked away by something nameless until only a void was left. The knowledge that this question was possible: pain that turns finally into emptiness. The knowledge that the same equation applied to everything, more or less.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby-Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecuchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought 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 wounds and stench.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Reading is pleasure and happiness to be alive or sadness to be alive and above all it's knowledge and questions.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“The truth is we never stop being children, terrible children covered in sores and knotty veins and tumors and age spots, but ultimately children, in other words we never stop clinging to life because we are life.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“For a moment the two of them looked at each other, wordless, as if they were asleep and their dreams had converged on common ground, a place where sound was alien.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Ivanov's fear was of a literary nature. That is, it was the fear that afflicts most citizens who, one fine (or dark) day, choose to make the practice of writing, and especially the practice of fiction writing, an integral part of their lives. Fear of being no good. Also fear of being overlooked. But above all, fear of being no good. Fear that one's efforts and striving will come to nothing. Fear of the step that leaves no trace. Fear of the forces of chance and nature that wipe away shallow prints. Fear of dining alone and unnoticed. Fear of going unrecognized. Fear of failure and making a spectacle of oneself. But above all, fear of being no good. Fear of forever dwelling in the hell of bad writers.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Still, American television is full of smiles and more and more perfect-looking teeth. Do these people want us to trust them? No. Do they want us to think they're good people? No again. The truth is they don't want anything from us. They just want to show us their teeth, their smiles, and admiration is all they want in return. Admiration. They want us to look at them, that's all. Their perfect teeth, their perfect bodies, their perfect manners, as if they were constantly breaking away from the sun and they were little pieces of fire, little pieces of blazing hell, here on this planet simply to be worshipped.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“We play at believing ourselves imortal. We delude oursleves in the appraisal of our own works and in our perpetual misappraisal of the works of others. See you at the Nobel, writers say, as one might say: see you in hell.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Metaphors are our way of losing ourselves in semblances or treading water in a sea of seeming.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“I steal into their dreams," he said. "I steal into their most shameful thoughts, I'm in every shiver, every spasm of their souls, I steal into their hearts, I scrutinize their most fundamental beliefs, I scan their irrational impulses, their unspeakable emotions, I sleep in their lungs during the summer and their muscles during the winter, and all of this I do without the least effort, without intending to, without asking or seeking it out, without constraints, driven only by love and devotion.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“The diseased, anyway, are more interesting than the healthy. The words of the diseased, even those who can manage only a murmur, carry more weight than those of the healthy. Then, too, all healthy people will in the future know disease. That sense of time, ah, the diseased man’s sense of time, what treasure hidden in a desert cave. Then, too the diseased truly bite, whereas the healthy pretend to bite but really only snap at the air. Then, too, then, too, then, too.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Bright colours in the west, giant butterflies dancing as night crept like a cripple toward the east.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“They could read him, they could study him, they could pick him apart, but they couldn't laugh or be sad with him....”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“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.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Even on the poorest streets people could be heard laughing. Some of these streets were completely dark, like black holes, and the laughter that came from who knows where was the only sign, the only beacon that kept residents and strangers from getting lost.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“For her, reading was directly linked to pleasure, not to knowledge or enigmas or constructions or verbal labyrinths…”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Then he went out without touching anything and put his arm around Ingeborg, and like that, with their arms around each other, they returned to the village while the whole past of the universe fell on their heads.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Reading is never a waste of time.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“It was raining in the quadrangle, and the quadrangular sky looked like a grimace of a robot or a god made in our own likeness. The oblique drops of rain slid down the blades of grass in the park, but it would have made no difference if they had slid up. Then the oblique (drops) turned round (drops), swallowed up by the earth underpinning the grass, and the grass and the earth seemed to talk, no, not talk, argue, their comprehensible words like crystallized spiderwebs or the briefest crystallized vomitings, a barely audible rustling, as if instead of drinking tea that afternoon, Norton had drunk a steaming cup of peyote.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“He was an atheist and it had been years since he read a book, despite the fact that he had amassed a more than decent library of works in his specialty, as well as volumes of philosophy and Mexican history and a novel or two. Sometimes he thought it was precisely because he was an atheist that he didn't read anymore. Not reading, it might be said, was the highest expression of atheism or at least of atheism as he conceived of it. If you don't believe in God, how do you believe in a fucking book? he asked himself.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“…I realized my happiness was artificial. I felt happy because I saw the others were happy and because I knew I should feel happy, but I wasn't really happy.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Así que todo nos traiciona, incluida la curiosidad y la honestidad y lo que bien amamos. Sí, dijo la voz, pero consuélate, en el fondo es divertido.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
“Life is shit, thought Pelletier in astonishment, all of it.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666
tags: 2666

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8