Bohumil Hrabal

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 liqeur 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.

“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 … Read More

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.

“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 … Read More

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.

“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 … Read More

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 roughhewn 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.

“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 … Read More

… because real thoughts come from outside and travel with us like the noodle soup we take to work; in other words, inquisitors burn books in vain. 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.

“… because real thoughts come from outside and travel with us like the noodle soup we take to work; in other words, inquisitors burn books … Read More

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.

“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 … Read More