Serbian Novelist, Writer, Poet and Translator, Nobel Prize in Literature
"We are here because in this part of the universe time is trained to stop... Life cannot survive in time that flows, or while it flows. Life survives only when time stands still... So it could happen someplace, somehow, that eternity and time would meet at a golden intersection. At the very heart of the cross, where eternity and time would connect, time would stop to be blessed by eternity. And that, in fact, is our present. Consequently, the present is the very portion of time that has stopped. Life survives only in the present. The past, therefore, consists of moments during which time has previously stopped; the future, of moments during which time will subsequently stop. So here we are. We are here because in this part of the universe time stops and makes life possible. Perhaps we can imagine a time that is not lined up to intersect eternity, a time that would seem sterile to our way of thinking. In such a region of the universe, we would not be in a position to exist since our dominant features are those of life and death."
"Houses are like books: so many of them around you, yet you only look at a few and visit or reside in fewer still."
"It is not I who mix the colors but your own vision,' he answered. 'I only place them next to one another on the wall in their natural state; it is the observer who mixes the colors in his own eye, like porridge. Therein lies the secret. The better the porridge, the better the painting, but you cannot make good porridge from bad buckwheat. Therefore, faith in seeing, listening, and reading is more important than faith in painting, singing, or writing."
"When we read, it is not ours to absorb all that is written. Our thoughts are jealous and they constantly blank out the thoughts of others, for there is not room enough in us for two scents at one time."
"Certainly, if a candle is capable of dying... Now, imagine," he went on, "that there is somebody who knows about us what we know about the moth. Somebody who knows how, with what, and why this space that we call the sky and assume to be boundless, is bounded-- somebody who cannot approach us to let us know that he exists except in one way-- by killing us. Somebody, on whose garments we are nourished, somebody who carries our death in his hand like a tongue, as a means of communicating with us. By killing us, this anonymous being informs us about himself. And we, through our deaths, which may be no more than a warning to some wayfarer sitting alongside the assassin, we, I say, can at the last moment perceive, as through an opened door, new fields and other boundaries. This sixth and highest degree of deathly fear (where there is no memory) is what holds and links us anonymous participants in the game. The hierarchy of death is, in fact, the only thing that makes possible a system of contacts between the various levels of reality in an otherwise vast space where deaths endlessly repeat themselves like echoes within echoes."
"A bird foraging for food in the swamps and marshes sinks rapidly if it doesn't move. It has to keep pulling its feet out of the mire to move on, regardless of whether it has caught something or not. And the same applies to us and to our love. We have to move on, we can't stay where we are, because we'll sink."
"And so, when I began to read the proffered pages, I at one moment lost the train of thought in the text and drowned it in my own feelings. In these seconds of absence and self-oblivion, centuries passed with every read but uncomprehended and unabsorbed line, and when, after a few moments, I came to and re-established contact with the text, I knew that the reader who returns from the open seas of his feelings is no longer the same reader who embarked on that sea only a short while ago."
"You want to open in time for its past, because he, too, has its own validity and it can expire."
"He who reaches the end of a road needs it no longer, and the road is not given to him any more."
"Language is just a map of human thoughts, feelings and memories. And as all the maps, language is a hundred thousand times the thumbnail image that he is trying to convey. "
"See at the top of the mountain is snow. And you think that there's only one snow. But it is not. Three snow, you can clearly see and discern even from here. One snow? year, second, that is under it, pozaprošlogodnij, and the upper snow this year. Snow is always white, but every year different. Also and with love. It doesn't matter how old is she, it is important, changing it or not. If you say: my love is for three years now, know that your love has died. Love is alive until it is changed. Is it not change? is the end."
"Our memories and our memory is the floating ice mountain. We see only the tip of the iceberg, and a huge underwater weight passed us, invisible and unreachable. "
"Don't forget that your years are in pairs, as sisters, mother and daughter or sister and brother. And sometimes as stepfather and stepdaughter or lovers ... In order to meet the night all your nights as day, need to understand what a couple of years that are in your life. "
"No chronology will be observed here, nor is one necessary. Hence each reader will put together the book for himself, as in a game of dominoes or cards, and, as with a mirror, he will get out of this dictionary as much as he puts into it, for you ... cannot get more out of the truth than what you put into it. "
"In 867 A.D. the brothers set out with their followers on one of those journeys where every step is a letter, every path a sentence, and every stop a number in a large book."
"Dream hunters plunge into other people's dreams and sleep and from them extract little pieces of Adam-the-precusor's being, composing them into a whole, into so-called Khazar dictionaries. "
"On Monday evenings he could take a different day from his future and use it the following morning, in place of Tuesday. When he came to the day he had taken, he would use the skipped Tuesday in its place, thereby adjusting the total. Under these conditions, of course, the connecting seams of the days could not fit together properly, and cracks appeared in time, but this matter only gladdened Petkutin."
"The Khazars believe that deep in the inky blackness of the Caspian Sea there is an eyeless fish that, like a clock, marks the only correct time in the universe."
"Your past is hidden in your silence, now - in your speech, and the future - in your false steps. "
"Happiness and wisdom do not go together, as well as body and mind. Pain - is the idea of the body. So happy people are always stupid. "
"Thoughts on contact with the words exactly as quickly fade, like words, in contact with his thoughts. It only remains that could survive a mutual murder."
"Human life is a strange race: the goal is not the end of the path, but somewhere in the middle, and you're running, running away, perhaps, long ago ran past, but he did not know that, did not notice when it happened. Never find out. So are you running on. "
"Soul - is the moon. And it is not available to one side, you'll never see from the place where you are. "
"The idea is a candle, which could spark another's candle, but for this you need to have a fire. "
"?Fastest man forgets the most beautiful moments in their lives. After moments of creative insight, orgasm or a bewitching dream comes amnesia, memories are erased. Because at that instant, when being a splendid dream in a moment of creative Ecstasy ? the conception of new life ? a human being at some time ascends the stairs of life on a few levels above, but to stay there for a long time could not and when in reality, a reality immediately forgets the moment of enlightenment. Throughout our lives we often find ourselves in a paradise, but remember only the expulsion?"
"?Happiness and wisdom together do not go as well as the body and thought. Pain is the thought of the body. So happy people are always stupid."
"?In my life as if there is a two time. At one time you become old, but instead of the body is something else. Karma? Can our body and our soul is the fuel? Fuel for what? Maybe time is the force that moves the body, and Eternity is the fuel of the soul?"
"?The idea is a candle, which could spark another's candle, but for this you need to have a fire."