António Lobo Antunes Quotes

A book is finished when it does not want me to work on it any longer… it reaches a point when it feels like it is literally avoiding me. I have a very physical relationship with the manuscript, almost a ‘corps a corps’. Paradoxically, when I finally feel at ease with a manuscript, with its voices, I realize it is finished. I see a book as a living organism, with its own rules and will.

I find it hard to conceive a poet who has never made love. And sometimes when I read some Portuguese prose writers Portuguese, they have no sperm inside, they are all things that happen inside the head. They think too much.

I love this land. We are ugly, small, stupid, but I like it.

I’m stupid like a tire, I’m a smart moron. Those talks about my fame are all fantasies.

In fifty years time, I will have my mouth full of dirt. It will be completely irrelevant that people read me or not. Maybe I even get an equestrian statue, riding the editor, and a widow to inaugurate the statue. My time is now, dammit!

It is very rare to get furious and to get angry. I don’t have time for it.

Let me be very clear. For me geography does not exist! I strongly object to the whole concept of ‘foreign literature’… and speaking of national identity: that is how dictatorships get started! In literature there is no periphery and no center; there are only writers.

Readers are whores. They love us and they leave us.

When it comes to irreverence, I think I was well behaved for too long, in the high school, in boarding school and in war.

Whenever anyone declares having read a book of mine I am disappointed by the error. That’s because my books are not to be read in the sense usually called reading: the only way it seems to me to approach the novels that I write is to catch them in the same manner that one catches an illness.

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