Don't talk unless you can improve the silence.
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
Life itself is a quotation.
Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment - the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.
We forget that we are all dead men conversing with dead men.
Every writer creates his own precursors.
His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.
So plant your own gardens and decorate your soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
Like all writers, he measured the achievements of others by what they had accomplished, asking of them that they measure him by what he envisaged or planned.
Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.
To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.
Reading is an activity subsequent to writing: more resigned, more civil, more intellectual.
Reality is not always probable, or likely.
The flattery of posterity is not worth much more than contemporary flattery, which is worth nothing.
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.
The original is unfaithful to the translation.
Democracy is an abuse of statistics.
In the order of literature, as in others, there is no act that is not the coronation of an infinite series of causes and the source of an infinite series of effects.
I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of the night without thinking that the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, just as our memory does.
It is worth remembering that every writer begins with a naively physical notion of what art is. A book for him or her is not an expression or a series of expressions, but literally a volume, a prism with six rectangular sides made of thin sheets of papers which should include a cover, an inside cover, an epigraph in italics, a preface, nine or ten parts with some verses at the beginning, a table of contents, an ex libris with an hourglass and a Latin phrase, a brief list of errata, some blank pages, a colophon and a publication notice: objects that are known to constitute the art of writing.
Through the years, a man peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, tools, stars, horses and people. Shortly before his death, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his own face.
You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.
Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written;
I'd rather boast about the ones I've read.
The art of writing is mysterious; the opinions we hold are ephemeral , and I prefer the Platonic idea of the Muse to that of Poe, who reasoned, or feigned to reason, that the writing of a poem is an act of the intelligence. It never fails to amaze me that the classics hold a romantic theory of poetry, and a romantic poet a classical theory.
Like all those possessing a library, Aurelian was aware that he was guilty of not knowing his in its entirety.
To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.
Literature is not exhaustible, for the sufficient and simple reason that a single book is not. A book is not an isolated entity: it is a narration, an axis of innumerable narrations. One literature differs from another, either before or after it, not so much because of the text as for the manner in which it is read.
The truth is that we live out our lives putting off all that can be put off;
perhaps we all know deep down that we are immortal and that sooner or later all men will do and know all things.
In the critic's vocabulary, the word precursor is indispensable, but it should be cleansed of all connotations of polemic or rivalry. The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future. -- Essay: Kafka and his Precursors
Whatever one man does, it is as if all men did it.
For that reason, it is not unfair that one disobedience in a garden should contaminate all humanity; for that reason it is not unjust that the crucifixion of a single Jew should be sufficient to save it.
I foresee that man will resign himself each day to new abominations, and soon that only bandits and soldiers will be left.
No one is anyone, one single immortal man is all men.
Like Cornelius Agrippa, I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.
One concept corrupts and confuses the others.
I am not speaking of the Evil whose limited sphere is ethics; I am speaking of the infinite.
Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.
In truth, the Library includes all verbal structures, all variations permitted by the twenty-five orthographical symbols, but not a single example of absolute nonsense.
A writer needs loneliness, and he gets his share of it.
He needs love, and he gets shared and also unshared love. He needs friendship. In fact, he needs the universe. To be a writer is, in a sense, to be a day-dreamer - to be living a kind of double life.
Any life is made up of a single moment, the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.
Time is the substance from which I am made.
Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
Not a single star will be left in the night.
The night will not be left. I will die and, with me, the weight of the intolerable universe. I shall erase the pyramids, the medallions, the continents and faces. I shall erase the accumulated past. I shall make dust of history, dust of dust. Now I am looking on the final sunset. I am hearing the last bird. I bequeath nothingness to no one.