There are some marvelous characters in The Shadow of the Wind, several of them highly opinionated and articulate orators, who express uncompromising views in lapidary language. I liked this round dismissal of languages being dead, the failure being instead our dormant minds.

This reminds me of a line attributed to Hannah Arendt in a film about her.  When her editor reminded her that most of their readers couldn’t read Greek, she batted the notion back with, ‘They should learn’.

‘There’s no such thing as a dead language, only dormant minds.’

See also our celebration of this book, complete with a mosaic of illustrated quotations and metaphors.


Source: Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind, trans. Lucia Graves (London: Phoenix, 2012), p. 13

Photo credit: jillmackie at


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