Carlos Ruiz Zafón Quotes: In Remembrance

To celebrate the literary legacy of novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafón, here are quotes from his Cemetery of Forgotten Books cycle about reading and writing.
Author:
Publish date:

On June 19, 2020, the literary world got word that novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafón had passed away from colon cancer at age 55. Now, a week later, I still can’t get this loss out of my head. I only started reading Zafón’s work last year (in the words of my favorite TV show, The West Wing, “Let’s forget the fact that [I’m] coming a little late to the party and embrace the fact that [I] showed up at all.”), but he quickly became one of my favorite writers.

His Cemetery of Forgotten Books cycle is a brilliant collection of novels that all contain common characters and adjacent storylines, but you can read them in any order and discover a whole new take on the world Zafón created. This, in and of itself, was fascinating enough to draw me in, but to top it off, the underlying theme of the whole collection is the power of reading and writing. For the characters living in Spain during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, reading and writing were subversive acts that could land them in prison, or worse. And yet, the characters—bookstore owners, writers, and secret librarians—persist. In essence, if you love books—reading or writing them—these books are meant for you.

In celebration of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s contribution to the world of literature, here are a few quotes from two of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books cycle.

From The Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafon Quote 1

“This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafon Quote 2

“In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader’s hands. In the shop we buy them and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been somebody’s best friend.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafon Quote 3

“…few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we leave behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafon Quote 4

“The book taught me that by reading, I could live more intensely. It could give me back the sight I had lost. For that reason alone, a book that didn’t matter to anyone changed my life.”

From The Angel’s Game

Carlos Ruiz Zafon Quote 5

“ A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that surely will outlive him. A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafon Quote 6

“…Bring me a story, not a speech. If I want a sermon, I’ll go to Midnight Mass. Bring me a story I have not read before and, if I have read it, bring it to me so well written and narrated that I won’t even notice.”

The Shadow of the Wind

Order your copy of The Shadow of the Wind

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Amazon

The Angel's Game

Order your copy of The Angel’s Game

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Amazon

Labyrinth of the Spirits

Order your copy of The Labyrinth of the Spirits

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Amazon

The Prisoner of Heaven

Order your copy of The Prisoner of Heaven

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Amazon

Sign up now for this Writer's Digest University webinar.

Sign up now for this Writer's Digest University webinar.

FightWrite_12:04

FightWrite™: Crime Fiction and Violence

Author and trained fighter Carla Hoch answers a writer's question about writing from the perspective of criminals and when best to utilize a fight.

Poetic Forms

Sedoka: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the sedoka, a 6-line question and answer Japanese form.

plot_twist_story_prompts_dream_sequence_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dream Sequence

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your characters dream a little dream.

WD Vintage_Armour 12:03

Vintage WD: Don't Hide Your Light Verse Under a Bushel

In this article from 1960, poet and author Richard Armour explores the importance of light verse and gives helpful hints to the hopeful poet.

Arlen_12:1

Tessa Arlen: On Polite Editorial Tussles and Unraveling Mysteries

In this article, author Tessa Arlen explains how to navigate the differences between American and English audiences and create a realistic historical mystery.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 547

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a lazy poem.

Williams_12:1

Denise Williams: Romance, Healing, and Learning to Love Revisions

Author Denise Williams recounts her experience with writing her first book while learning about the publishing industry and the biggest surprise about novel revisions.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 13th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.