“You don't write because someone sets assignments! You write because you need to write, or because you hope someone will listen or because writing will mend something broken inside you or bring something back to life.”
“Some things can be both real and imaginary at the same time, . . . some lies can be true, . . . broken faith may be restored.”
“The right circumstances sometimes happen of their own accord, slyly, without fanfare, without warning. Layman's alchemy. . . . The magic of everyday things.”
“The process of writing is a little like madness, a kind of possession not altogether benign.”
“A few hundred years ago there were no differences between magic and medicine.”
“It isn't just a village. The houses aren't just places to live. Everything belongs to everybody. Everyone belongs to everyone else. Even a single person can make a difference.”
“Their love was something which coloured the air between them like sunlight.”
“So much of his life seemed to be like this now, a blur of days without anything to define them from each other, like episodes of a soap he watched out of habit, even though none of the characters interested him.”
“The day stretched out in front of him like an empty road in the desert.”
“He drank, for the same reason he wrote second-rate science fiction. Not to forget but to remember, to open the past and find himself there again. He opened each bottle, began each story with the secret conviction that here was the magic drought that would restore him. But magic, like wine, needs the right conditions in order to work.”
“He was the cleanest-cut comic-book schoolboy hero imaginable.”
“There was a quote he could not quite remember, something about the past being an island surrounded by time. He had missed the last boat to the island.”
“You may be a foreigner, but you have the heart of a Frenchman.”
“And yet I could still hear them. As if some part of their essence had evaporated into the air, become a part of this place, ingrained, like the scent of cigarettes and burning sugar, in the woodwork and plaster. Everything was buzzing with that vanished presence, buzzing and singing and laughing louder than ever before, stone and tile and polished wood, all whispering with agitation and excitement; never still, never silent.”
“Too much balast slows you down.”
“Виното говори. Всички го знаят. Огледайте се наоколо. Попитайте оракула на ъгъла на улицата; неканения гост на сватбеното тържество; блажения безумец. То говори. Говори като вентрилок. Има милион гласове. Развързва езика, извежда на бял свят тайни, които никога не сте искали да споделите, тайни, които дори не сте знаели. То крещи, декламира, шепне. Разказва за велики дела, блестящи планове, трагични любовни истории и ужасяващи предателства. Пищи от смях. Тихо се подсммихва под мустак. Плаче пред собственото си отражение. Връща ни към отдавна отминали лета и най-грижливо забравени спомени. Всяка бутилка носи полъха на други времена, други места, всяко едно - от най-простото "Либфраумилх" до високомерното "Вьов Клико" от 1945 година - малко чудо. Всекидневна магия, както го наричаше Джо. Трансформиране на основна материя в свят от мечти. Лаическа алхимия.”
“All right, Monsieur Jay,' she said, smiling. 'I'll tell them you're OK.”
“Вы пишете не потому, что кто-то даёт задания! Вы пишете потому, что не можете не писать, или потому, что надеетесь – вас кто-то услышит, или чтобы починить то, что внутри вас сломалось, или вернуть что-то к жизни...
Здесь люди держатся за обычаи. Церковь. Семья. Земля. Вот почему так много молодых уезжают. Им подавай то, о чём в журналах написано. Им подавай города, машины, клубы, магазины. Но всегда есть те, кто остаётся. И те, кто возвращается.”
“There's small choice in rotten apples.”
“She smiled darkly and shook her head. 'I'm not crazy. I'm not. Of course what else would a crazy person claim? That's the Kafkaesque genius of it all. If you're not crazy but people have told the world you are, then all your protests to the contrary just underscore their point. Do you see what I'm saying?”
“You're not as much of a lost cause as she was. I mean, with her, I had to overcome her deep, epic love with a Russian warlord. You and I just have to overcome hundreds of years' worth of deeply ingrained prejudice and taboo between our two races. Easy.”
“It is said there are flowers that bloom only once in a hundred years. Why should there not be some that bloom once in a thousand, in ten thousand years? Perhaps we never know about them simply because this "once in a thousand years" has come today.”
“Perhaps I myself am a pompous and conceited old fool. And perhaps if these fools I complain of were French or Dutch or German I would not mind so much, because then I could say 'What else can you expect?' and feel superior. It is because they are men of my own race that I would have them all good.”
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