Sten Nadolny

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sten Nadolny (left) and Jens Sparschuh, 2009

Sten Nadolny, (born 29 July 1942, in Zehdenick, Province of Brandenburg) is a German novelist. His parents, Burkhard and Isabella Nadolny, were also writers.

Quotes[edit]

  • Es gibt zwei Sorten von Männern. Die einen verstehen 'etwas von Frauen', die anderen sind solche, die einfach 'Frauen verstehen'.
    • There are two varieties of men. Some understand 'some women', the others are those who simply 'understand women'.
    • Netzkarte (1981)

The Discovery of Slowness (1983, 1987)[edit]

  • The most distant mountains, like himself, just stood there and gazed.
  • The game went on. John had understood nothing. Everything was too fast: the game, the other's talk, the goings-on in the street...
  • How did Tom get there? Again, a piece of time had dropped out.
  • Someday he'd be quicker... to be like the sun, which only seems to wander slowly across the sky, yet whose rays are as quick as the blink of an eye. ...they reach in one instant the most distant mountains.
  • Large animals, John thought, move more slowly than mice and wasps. Perhaps he was secretly a giant.
  • In this place they knew him and were aware of how hard he had to strain. He would rather be among strangers who might possibly be more like himself. There had to be such people—perhaps far, far away. And there he would be able to learn more easily how to be fast.
  • If he could just stay there and gaze upon the land like a stone, whole centuries long, while grassy plains became forests and swamps turned into villages or tilled land. ...He'd be recognized as human only when he stirred.
  • He didn't want to learn another thing. Motionless, he constantly stared at the same spot, unseeing. He breathed as if the air were loam. ...he no longer wanted to be quick. ...he wanted to slow down until he died. ...Outside the passage of time... until they'd think him dead. ...The alterations of day and night would finally become just a flickering... John sucked in the air and held his breath. ...everything would be as it had been before his birth. He would have never been.
  • When people talk too fast the content becomes as superfluous as the speed.
  • John always went over the time limit and then answered one or two earlier questions unexpectedly, out of order, for nothing could prevent him from solving a problem, even if it had already become inappropriate.
  • Present and past—what had Dr. Orme said about that? The light was most fully in the present when, flaring up, it met John's eye directly. Whatever else he saw must have been lit up before and now shone only within his own eye—a light of the past.
  • Now everything would be different; a little today, all of it tomorrow.
  • The villagers and squires now treated him with respect, largely because of his tall stature and the scar on his forehead. If he asked someone to repeat what had been said he was no longer mocked... The country was actually pleasant for a grown man.
  • The spirit of history can't be caught in pictures. ...History, seriously pursued, belongs in the realm of uncertainty. A picture is a certainty.
  • In the study of history, slowness is an advantage. The scholar decelerates the fast-moving events of past days until his mind can fathom them. Then... he can demonstrate to the rashest king how he should have acted in battle.
  • 'History is intercourse with greatness and duration. It allows us to rise above time.' ...that was tempting. But he couldn't earn any money with it.
  • The world is full of important ideas, but I'll follow my own mind.
  • I'm not afraid because I can only imagine nothingness as rather quiet.
  • If there had been no war, perhaps I would have already discovered a lot by now.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:


  • Robert Macfarlane, Read it on the autobahn, Review of The Discovery of Slowness, London Review of Books, Vol. 25 No. 24 · 18 December 2003.