Book//mark – Time Shelter | Georgi Gospodinov, 2020

Georgi Gospodinov Time Shelter 2020

Georgi Gospodinov, Time Shelter, 2020

“Somewhere in the Andes, they believe to this very day that the future is behind you. It comes up from behind your back, surprising and unforeseeable, while the past is always before your eyes, that which has already happened. When they talk about the past, the people of the Aymara tribe point in front of them. You walk forward facing the past and you turn back toward the future.”

“We are constantly producing the past. We are factories for the past. Living past-making machines, what else? We eat time and produce the past. Even death doesn’t put a stop to this. A person might be gone, but his past remains.”

“The past settles into afternoons, that’s where time visibly slows down, it dozes off in the corners, blinking like a cat looking through thin blinds. It’s always afternoon when you remember something, at least that’s how it is for me. Everything is in the light.”

“I’m getting old. Exiled ever further from the Rome of childhood in the distant empty provinces of old age, from which there is no return. And Rome no longer answers my letters. Somewhere the past exists as a house or a street that you’ve left for a short while, for five minutes, and you’ve found yourself in a strange city. It’s been written that the past is a foreign country. Nonsense. The past is my home country. The future is a foreign country, full of strange faces, I won’t set foot there.”

“Let me go back home… my mother told me not to be late.”

“Forgetting takes a lot of work. You have to constantly remember that you are supposed to forget something. Surely, that’s how every ideology functions.”

“Now the last person who remembered me as a child is gone, I told myself. And only then did I burst into sobs, like a child.”

“Soon after that we would go our separate ways, grow cold, forget one another, the rebels would grow tame as teaching assistants in the universities, the sworn bachelors and party animals would be pushing baby carriages and zoning out in front of their TV, the hippies would get regular haircuts at the local barbershop.”

“There is no time machine except the human being.”

“In the end, writing arises when man realizes that memory is not enough.”

“Everything always comes down to language in the end.”

“When I write, I know who I am, but once I stop, I am no longer so sure.”

“If no one remembers becomes the equivalent of If there is no God. If there is no God, Dostoyevsky said, then everything is permitted.”

Georgi Gospodinov, Time Shelter, 2020

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