It’s worth reblogging this gem three years later for, among other things, the reminder to “above all, read Schwob.”
One is prepared for friendship, not for friends. And sometimes not even friendship, but at least we try: usually we flail in the darkness, a darkness that’s not foreign to us, a darkness that comes from inside of us and meshes with a purely external reality, with the darkness of certain gestures, certain shadows that we once thought were familiar and that in fact are as strange as a dinosaur.Roberto Bolaño, “Friends are Strange,” in Between Parentheses
Books are finite, sexual encounters are finite, but the desire to read and to fuck are infinite; it surpasses our own deaths, our fears, our hopes for peace.Roberto Bolaño, speaking of Stéphane Mallarmé’s quote “The flesh is sad—and I’ve read every book.” (via frenchtwist)
Q: Which five books have marked your life?
A: In reality the five books are more like 5,000. I’ll mention these only as the tip of the spear: Don Quixote by Cervantes, Moby-Dick by Melville. The complete works of Borges, Hopscotch by Cortazar, A Confederacy of Dunces by Toole. I should also cite Nadja by Breton, the letters of Jacques Vache. Anything Ubu by Jarry, Life: A User’s Manual by Perec. The Castle and The Trial by Kafka. Aphorisms by Lichtenberg. The Tractatus by Wittgenstein. The Invention of Morel by Bioy Casares. The Satyricon by Petronius. The History of Rome by Tito Livio. Pensees by Pascal.
See also: “What Bolano read”