Quotes from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words

Milorad Pavić ·  338 pages

Rating: (4.5K votes)


“When we read, it is not ours to absorb all that is written. Our thoughts are jealous and they constantly blank out the thoughts of others, for there is not room enough in us for two scents at one time.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“I dream in a language I do not understand when I'm awake.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“It is not I who mix the colors but your own vision,' he answered. 'I only place them next to one another on the wall in their natural state; it is the observer who mixes the colors in his own eye, like porridge. Therein lies the secret. The better the porridge, the better the painting, but you cannot make good porridge from bad buckwheat. Therefore, faith in seeing, listening, and reading is more important than faith in painting, singing, or writing.'

He took blue and red and placed them next to each other, painting the eyes of an angel. And I saw the angel's eyes turn violet.

'I work with something like a dictionary of colors,' Nikon added, 'and from it the observer composes sentences and books, in other words, images. You could do the same with writing. Why shouldn't someone create a dictionary of words that make up one book and let the reader himself assemble the words into a whole?”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“And he gave me a few of the Xeroxed sheets of paper lying on the table in front of him. As he passed them to me, his thumb brushed mine and I trembled from the touch. I had the sensation that our past and our future were in our fingers and that they had touched. And so, when I began to read the proffered pages, I at one moment lost the train of thought in the text and drowned it in my own feelings. In these seconds of absence and self-oblivion, centuries passed with every read but uncomprehended and unabsorbed line, and when, after a few moments, I came to and re-established contact with the text, I knew that the reader who returns from the open seas of his feelings is no longer the same reader who embarked on that sea only a short while ago. I gained and learned more by not reading than by reading those pages...”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“A bird foraging for food in the swamps and marshes sinks rapidly if it doesn't move. It has to keep pulling its feet out of the mire to move on, regardless of whether it has caught something or not. And the same applies to us and to our love. We have to move on, we can't stay where we are, because we'll sink.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words



“Один из верных путей в истинное будущее – это идти в том направлении, в котором растет твой страх”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“And so, when I began to read the proffered pages, I at one moment lost the train of thought in the text and drowned it in my own feelings. In these seconds of absence and self-oblivion, centuries passed with every read but uncomprehended and unabsorbed line, and when, after a few moments, I came to and re-established contact with the text, I knew that the reader who returns from the open seas of his feelings is no longer the same reader who embarked on that sea only a short while ago.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“He took blue and red and placed them next to each other, painting the eyes of an angel. And I saw the angel's eyes turn violet”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Един от сигурните пътища в истинското бъдеще (защото има и лъжливи видове бъдеще) е да вървиш в посоката, в която расте твоят страх.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Each of us promenades his thought, like a monkey on a leash. When you read, you always have to such monkeys: your own and one belonging to someone else. Or, even worse, a monkey and a hyena. Now, consider what you will feed them. For a hyena does not eat the same things as a monkey...”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words



“- Поступки в человеческой жизни похожи на еду, а мысли и чувства - на приправы. Плохо придется тому, кто посолит черешню или уксусом польет пирожное...”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Один из верных путей в истинное будущее (а есть ведь и ложное будущее) - это идти в том направлении, в котором растет твой страх.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“It is not I who mix the colors but your own vision,' he answered. 'I only place them next to one another on the wall in their natural state; it is the observer who mixes the colors in his own eye, like porridge. Therein lies the secret. The better the porridge, the better the painting, but you cannot make good porridge from bad buckwheat. Therefore, faith in seeing, listening, and reading is more important than faith in painting, singing, or writing.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Я привыкла к своим мыслям, как к своим платьям. В талии они всегда одной и той
же ширины, и вижу я их повсюду, даже на перекрестках. И что хуже всего - из-за них уже и перекрестков не видно.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“He was creating the first letters of the Slavonic alphabet. He started with rounded letters, but the Slavonic language was so wild that the ink could not hold it, and so he made a second alphabet of barred letters and caged the unruly language in them like a bird.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words



“It was no easy task to tame the barbarians' language. One quick three-week-old autumn, the brothers were sitting in their cell, trying to write out the letters that men would later call Cyrillic. They were not getting anywhere. Fromm the cell you could clearly see half of October, and in it the silence was one hour's walk long and two hours' walk wide. Then Methodius called his brother's attention to four jugs standing on the window of their cell, but outside, on the other side of the bars. "If the doors were locked, how could I get to one of those jugs?" he asked. Constantine broke one of the jugs, then drew the fragments piece by piece through the bars and into the cell, where he reassembled the jug, bonding it with saliva and clay from the floor beneath his feet. This they now did with the Slavonic language: they broke it in pieces, drew it into their mouths through the bars of Cyril's letters, and bonded the fragments with their saliva and the Greek clay beneath the soles of their feet.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Птица, която ловува по мочурищата и блатата, бързо потъва, ако не се движи. Час по час трябва да си вади крака от тинята и да го мести, независимо от това хванала ли е нещо, или не.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Пусть твои глаза остановятся на мне в тот раз, когда я буду хорошо готова к своей роли, потому что никто не бывает мудрым и красивым все семь дней в неделю.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Знание - товар скоропортящийся, того и гляди заплесневеет. Так же как и будущее.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Хазары считают, что старость - это результат действия взглядов как своих на
собственное тело, так и чужих, потому что взгляды вспарывают и перепахивают тела самыми различными и убийственными
орудиями, которые создаются страстями, ненавистью, намерениями и желаниями.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words



“Ведь все наши проблемы на этом свете проистекают из того, что мы вынуждены тратить наши дни такими, какие они есть, из-за того, что не можем перескочить
через самые худшие. В этом-то все дело. С моим яйцом в кармане вы, заметив, что наступающий день слишком мрачен, разобьете его и избежите всех неприятностей. В результате, правда, ваша жизнь станет на один день короче, но зато вы сможете сделать из этого
плохого дня прекрасную яичницу.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“It has been said ever since that the Brankoviches of Erdély count in Tzintzar, lie in Walachian, are silent in Greek, sing hymns in Russian, are cleverest in Turkish and speak their mother tongue --Serbian-- only when they intend to kill.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Кој сака да освои тврдина најнапред мора да ја освои својата душа...”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


“Защото в истината може да се намери само онова, което е сложено в нея. Но това съвсем не е малко — в истината има място за всичко.”
― Milorad Pavić, quote from Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words


About the author

Milorad Pavić
Born place: in Belgrade, Serbia
Born date October 15, 1929
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