A big success can be very confusing if it comes too early in your life. When you are young, you are more vulnerable to vanity. I was 36 when I wrote The Shadow of the Wind and the success of it was very gradual. If you have this kind of success straight off, I think there is a danger you can become an idiot, because you don't have a perspective. It hasn't changed me a lot. I fly first class now. But those things don't change you. If I am pretentious, I was before, I haven't changed. The only thing... Read more »
...until that moment I had not understood that this was a story about lonely people, about absence and loss, and that that was why I had taken refuge in it until it became confused with my own life, like someone who has escaped into the pages of a novel because those whom he needs to love seem nothing more than ghosts inhabiting the mind of a stranger.
That afternoon the sky was scattered with black clouds galloping in from the sea and clustering over the city. Flashes of lightening echoed on the horizon and a charged warm wind smelling of dust announced a powerful summer storm. When I reached the station I noticed the first few drops, shiny and heavy, like coins falling from heaven...Night seemed to fall suddenly, interrupted only by the lightning now bursting over the city, leaving a trail of noise and fury.
The teachers tried everything, even pleading, but Tomas was in the habit of addressing them only in Latin, a language he spoke with papal fluency and in which he did not stammer. Sooner or later they all resigned in despair, fearing he might be possessed: he might be spouting demonic instructions in Aramaic at them, for all they knew.
Bea says that the art of reading is slowly dying, that it's an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day.
Normal people bring children into the world; we novelists bring books. We are condemned to put our whole lives into them, even though they hardly ever thank us for it. We are condemned to die in their pages and sometimes even to let our books be the ones who, in the end, will take our lives.
Not evil. Moronic, which isn't quite the same thing. Evil presupposes a moral decision, intention, and some forethought. A moron or a lout, however, doesn't stop to think or reason. He acts on instinct, like a stable animal, convinced he's doing good, that he's always right, and sanctimoniously proud to go around f***ing up ... anyone he perceives to be different from himself, be it because of skin color, creed, language, nationality, or ... leisure habits. What the world needs is more thoroughly evil people and fewer borderline pigheads.
I was very bored at school. I found it very easy and slow and grey. My teachers didn't really know how to handle me, because I was very sarcastic. I was over-confident, arrogant, a typical youngest child. I went through periods of withdrawing into myself and school psychologists tried to figure me out, work out why I didn't fit in. I found that irritating, too.