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At Night All Blood is Black

David Diop

Top 10 Best Quotes

“To translate is never simple. To translate is to betray at the borders, it’s to cheat, it’s to trade one sentence for another. To translate is one of the only human activities in which one is required to lie about the details to convey the truth at large. To translate is to risk understanding better than others that the truth about a word is not single, but double, even triple, quadruple, or quintuple. To translate is to distance oneself from God’s truth, which, as everyone knows or believes, is single.”

“Temporary madness, in war, is bravery’s sister.”

“Until a man is dead, he is not yet done being created.”

“Any event that surprises a man has already been experienced by other men before him. The effects of all human possibilities have already been felt. Nothing that might happen to us here, as terrible or as felicitous as it might seem, is new. But what we experience is always new because every man is unique, the way every leaf and every tree is unique. Men share with each other the same lifeblood, but each feeds himself from it differently. Even if the new isn’t really new, it’s always new for those who, ceaselessly, wash up on the world’s shores, generation after generation, wave after wave. So, in order to find yourself in life, to not lose yourself on the path, you must listen to the voice of duty. To think too much about yourself is to falter. Whoever understands this secret has the potential to live in peace. But it’s easier said than done.”

“Yes, I understood, God’s truth, that on the battlefield they wanted only fleeting madness. Madmen of rage, madmen of pain, furious madmen, but temporary ones. No continuous madmen. As soon as the fighting ends, we’re to file away our rage, our pain, and our fury. Pain is tolerated, we can bring our pain home on the condition that we keep it to ourselves.”

“...I had been inhuman by obeying duty's voice. But I was now free to listen no longer, to no longer obey the voices that command us not to be human when we must.”

“We never abandon those who gave us life.”

“God's truth, each thing carries its opposite within.”

“No one knows what I think. I am free to think whatever I want. And what I think is that people don't want me to think.”

“I AM THE SHADOW THAT DEVOURS ROCKS, mountains, forests, and rivers, the flesh of beasts and of men. I slice skin, I empty skulls and bodies. I cut off arms, legs, and hands. I smash bones and I suck out their marrow. But I am also the red moon that rises over the river, I am the evening air that rustles the tender acacia trees. I am the wasp and the flower. I am as much the wriggling fish as the still canoe, as much the net as the fisherman. I am the prisoner and his guard. I am the tree and the seed that grew into it. I am father and son. I am assassin and judge. I am the sowing and the harvest. I am mother and daughter. I am night and day. I am fire and the wood it devours. I am innocent and guilty. I am the beginning and the end. I am the creator and the destroyer. I am double.”

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Book Keywords:

life-and-death, conscience

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