3 Quotes – Carlos Ruiz Zafón




Carlos Ruiz Zafón,
Spanish novelist


September 25, 1964, Barcelona, Spain



The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is a metaphor, not just for books but for ideas, for language, for knowledge, for beauty, for all the things that make us human, for collecting memory.
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I’m a voracious reader, and I like to explore all sorts of writing without prejudice and without paying any attention to labels, conventions or silly critical fads.
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My childhood was surrounded by books and writing. From a very early age I was fascinated by storytelling, by the printed word, by language, by ideas. So I would seek them out.



Which is your favourite quote by Carlos Ruiz Zafón?  🙂


The “Cemetery of Forgotten Books” (“El Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados”) is introduced in “Shadow of the Wind” (“La Sombra del Viento”).

The novel, set in post–war Barcelona, concerns a young boy, Daniel Sempere. Just after the war, Daniel’s father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it and must protect it for life. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. That morning he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed. Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author but can find none. All he comes across are stories of a strange man – calling himself Laín Coubert, after a character in the book who happens to be the Devil – who has been seeking out Carax’s books for decades, buying them all and burning them.

The novel is actually a story within a story. The boy, Daniel Sempere, in his quest to discover Julian’s other works, becomes involved in tracing the entire history of Carax. His friend Fermin Romero de Torres, who was imprisoned and tortured in Montjuic Castle for having been involved in an espionage against the Anarchists during the war – himself being a government intelligence agent – helps Daniel in a number of ways, but their probing into the murky past of a number of people who have either been long dead or long forgotten unleashes the dark forces of the murderous Inspector Fumero.



12 thoughts on “3 Quotes – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

    • La Sombra del Viento was the first of his works I read, the other books followed in quick succession; I was and still am hooked. Selecting these quotes took a while – I kept on reading and reading…

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