Quotes from Too Loud a Solitude

Bohumil Hrabal ·  98 pages

Rating: (10.9K votes)


“I can be by myself because I'm never lonely; I'm simply alone, living in my heavily populated solitude, a harum-scarum of infinity and eternity, and Infinity and Eternity seem to take a liking to the likes of me.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“Because when I read, I don't really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“My education has been so unwitting I can't quite tell which of my thoughts come from me and which from my books, but that's how I've stayed attuned to myself and the world around me for the past thirty-five years. Because when I read, I don't really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“Lost in my dreams, I somehow cross at the traffic signals, bumping into street lamps or people, yet moving onward, exuding fumes of beer and grime, yet smiling, because my briefcase is full of books and that very night I expect them to tell me things about myself I don't know.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“I always loved twilight: it was the only time of day I had the feeling that something important could happen. All things were more beautiful bathed in twilight, all streets, all squares, and all the people walking through them; I even had the feeling that I was a handsome young man, and I liked looking at myself in the mirror, watching myself in the shop windows as I strode along, and even when I touched my face, I felt no wrinkles at my mouth or forehead.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude



“When I start reading I'm somewhere completely different, I'm in the text, it's amazing, I have to admit I've been dreaming, dreaming in a land of great beauty, I've been in the very heart of truth. Ten times a day, every day, I wonder at having wandered so far, and then, alienated from myself, a stranger to myself, I go home, walking the streets silently and in deep meditation, passing trams and cars and pedestrians in a cloud of books, the books I found that day and am carrying home in my briefcase.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“Ten times a day, every day, I wonder at having wandered so far, and then, alienated from myself, a stranger to myself, I go home”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“If a book has anything to say, it burns with a quiet laugh, because any book worth its salt points up and out of itself.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“As I helped him up, I felt him shake all over, so I asked him to forgive me, without knowing what for, but that was my lot, asking forgiveness, I even asked forgiveness of myself for being what I was, what it was my nature to be.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“And so everything I see in this world, it all moves backward and forward at the same time, like a black-smith's bellows, like everything in my press, turning into its opposite at the command of the red and green buttons, and that's what makes the world go round.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude



“Suddenly the door opened and in stomped a giant reeking of the river, and before anyone knew what was happening, he had grabbed a chair, smashed it in two, and chased the terrified customers into a corner. The three youngsters pressed against the wall like periwinkles in the rain, but at the very last moment, when the man had picked up half a chair in each hand and seemed ready for the kill, he burst into song, and after conducting himself in "Gray Dove Where Have You Been?" he flung aside the halves of the chair, paid the waiter for the damage, and, turning to the still-shaking customers, said, "Gentlemen I am the hangman's assistant," whereupon he left, pensive and miserable. Perhaps he was the one who, last year at the Holesovice slaughterhouse, put a knife to my neck, shoved me into a corner, took out a slip of paper, and read me a poem celebrating the beauties of the countryside at Ricany, then apologized saying he hadn't found any other way of getting people to listen to his verse.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“ما همچون دانه هاي زيتوني هستيم كه تنها هنگامي جوهر خود را بروز مي دهيم كه در هم شكسته شويم”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“For we are like olives: only when we are crushed do we yield what is best in us.” After”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“Like a flash of lightning Arthur Schopenhauer appeared to me and said, "The highest law is love, the love that is compassion,”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“Today's Gypsies, who have lived in Prague for only two generations, light a ritual fire wherever they work, a nomads' fire crackling only for the joy of it, a blaze of rough-hewn wood like a child's laugh, a symbol of the eternity that preceded human thought, a free fire, a gift from heaven, a living sign of the elements unnoticed by the world-weary pedestrian, a fire in the ditches of Prague warming the wanderer's eye and soul.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude



“و دیدم چه غریب است که مجسمه های شخصیت های بزرگ ادبی ما مثل افلیجها بر صندلی نشسته اند، در حالی که مجسمه های روحانیون ما سرپا در حرکتند”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“نه! نه در آسمانها نشانی از رافت و عطوفت وجود دارد، نه در زندگی بالای سر و نه زیر پای ما و نه در درون من”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“I asked him to forgive me, without knowing what for, but that was my lot, asking forgiveness, I even asked forgiveness of myself for being what I was, what it was my nature to be. Depressed,”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“that the only thing on earth worthy of fear is a situation that is petrified, congealed, or dying, and the only thing worthy of joy is a situation where not only the individual but also society as a whole wages a constant battle for self-justification.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“and I look on my brain as a mass of hydraulically compacted thoughts, a bale of ideas, and my head as a smooth, shiny Aladdin's lamp.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude



“کتاب را به سینه فشردم و کتاب با تمام سردیِ جلدش مرا گرم کرد”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“لن نُظهر أفضل ما لدينا حتى نُسحق تمامًا”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“I kept working and...reading The Theory of The Heavens a sentence at a time, savoring each sentence like a cough drop and brimming with a sense of the immensity, grandeur, and infinite beauty streaming at me from all sides”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“در سکوت شبانه، سکوت مطلق شبانه، وقتی که حواس انسان آرام گرفته است، روحی جاودان به زبانی بی نام با انسان از چیزهایی، از اندیشه هایی سخن می گوید که می فهمی... ولی نمی توانی وصف کنی.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“Not until we're totally crushed do we show what we are made of.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude



“Until suddenly one day I felt beautiful and holy for having had the courage to hold on to my sanity after all I'd seen and been through, body and soul, in too loud a solitude...”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“Because this week I’ve started in on a hundred reproductions of Rembrandt van Rijn, a hundred portraits of the old artist with the mushroom face, the face of a man pushed to the brink of eternity by art and drink, the door handle starting to turn, the final door pushed open from without by an unknown hand, and I’m beginning to have his puff-paste face, that peeling, piss-soaked wall of a face, I’m beginning to smile his half-moronic smile, to look at the world from the other side of human causes and events, and all my bales these days are framed with that portrait of Rembrandt van Rijn as an old man while I keep filling my drum with wastepaper and open books.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“the heavens are not humane, nor is any man with a head on his shoulders. Here”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“A few more years of the same, though, and I got used to it: I would load entire libraries from country castles and city mansions, fine, rare, leather- and Morroco-bound books, load whole trains full, and as soon as a train had thirty cars, off it would go to Switzerland or Austria, one kilogram of rare books for the equivalent of one crown of convertible currency, and nobody blinked an eye, nobody shed a tear, not even I myself, no, all I did was stand there smiling as I watched the train hauling those priceless libraries off to Switzerland and Austria for one crown in convertible currency a kilo. By then I had mustered the strength to look upon misfortune with composure, to still my emotions, by then I had begun to understand the beauty of destruction and I loaded more and more freight cars, and more and more trains left the station heading west at one crown per kilogram, and as I stood there staring after the red lantern hanging from the last car, as I stood there leaning on a lamppost like Leonardo da Vinci, who stood leaning on a column and looking on while French soldiers used his statue for target practice, shooting away horse and rider bit by bit, I thought how Leonardo, like me, standing and witnessing such horrors with complete composure, had realized even than that neither the heavens are humane nor is any man with a head on his shoulders.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude


“I have calmed down a little and my work is going better than yesterday, so well, in fact, that it does itself and I can slip back into the womb of time, into my youth, when I ironed my trousers and shined my shoes, soles included, every Saturday, because when you’re young you love keeping clean, you love your self-image, an image you still have time to improve.”
― Bohumil Hrabal, quote from Too Loud a Solitude



About the author

Bohumil Hrabal
Born place: in Brno, Czech Republic
Born date March 28, 1914
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