Almudena Grandes is one of Spain’s best known and most acclaimed writers. His elegant and lyrical prose propelled him to fame.
Almudena Grandes’ phrases express great sensitivity towards everyday stories, towards the different nuances that can stain our way of experiencing emotions, and towards the way in which relationships change us.
Almudena Grandes’ best quotes
Below we will see a selection of text fragments, thoughts and phrases from this writer.
1. They are not yet corpses and they are afraid of death …
On the paradoxes of existence: breathing is not synonymous with living.
2. You have to be very brave to ask for help, you know? But you have to be even more courageous to accept it.
On the burden that pride can be on us.
3. The Mother Superior repeated it every two to three, the branches must be uprooted before they reach the trunks.
Bad habits should be dealt with as soon as possible.
4. Omitting truths is nothing but a refined variety of lies.
Morally, knowingly hiding information is to miss the truth.
5. Only a Spanish story, one that makes everything spoil.
One of Almudena Grandes’ sentences that shows her tragic vision of the country.
6. The same love that made us faithful, that made us better, was doing everything to lose.
According to the context, the same emotions can be constructive or destructive.
7. A lot of things happened that night, words, gestures, silences that I will remember for a lifetime.
A sample of the stylized prose of Almudena Grandes.
8. (…) That sad smell, of moss and wet earth, which perfumes the buildings under construction.
About a very specific feeling.
9. How weird your brothers-in-law are, right? -Yes, they are from Madrid. – That will be it.
A sample of his sense of humor.
10. It had been too much love, as much as I could give, more than was right for me. It was too much love. And then nothing.
Looking back on an exaltation.
11. Therefore, we cannot say with certainty that the whole is equal to the sum of the parts when the parts ignore each other.
Another reflection on how conflict and indifference to one another destroy the social fabric.
12. A good writer can write about anything and can write about any subject and a bad writer does not have this ability.
A tip on this artistic facet.
13. Time will put everything in its place, I will die and you will regret what you told me a moment ago, but until then I don’t want to lose you …
When the emotions are above the rational and conscious analysis of things.
14. The earth revolved around itself and around the sun just below our naked and bound bodies. Beyond that was all the rest. Beyond was winter, the ice, the slippery and dirty state of ugly, earthy snow, stained with mud and half broken by the footprints of the people, many innocent and guilty, loyal and treacherous, aware or not of the wound that his footsteps opened on the icy sidewalks of the future of his children, his grandchildren, a guilty and desolate horizon, different from the uncluttered landscape and skillfully wrapped in a beautiful paper in bright colors that they would believe sometimes inherited.
Description passage more focused on sensations than on matter.
15. Seeing him sleeping next to him, he could only think of one thing; tomorrow I may not have it, tomorrow it will be gone, tomorrow I will be alone in this bed … Every minute weighed, every minute counted, every minute dilated until it projects itself within the limits of ‘a small personal eternity.
About anticipated fear of loss.
16. What is it for? So to understand how things are going. Does it seem small to you? To try to formulate rules that relieve the unbearable anguish of our existence in this miserable strand of the inaccessible immensity of the universe that is the world.
On the different ways in which we decrease the degree of uncertainty.
17. I loved him so much that at that point when I felt like I ran out of ground beneath my feet and emptiness was loaded in the center of my stomach at a price far greater than pleasure. with all the dizziness, the certainty that I would never feel again… disgusted and ashamed at the memory of the luminous disproportion of her naked body, I managed to keep a glimmer of warmth in my heart numb with the cold.
This text fragment expresses an example of traditional romantic love, based largely on the unconditionality of the bond.
18. What a savage, what a horror of exile, and what a horrible defeat that never ends, destroys from the outside and the inside, erases the plans of the city centers, perverts the rules of love, and transcends the limits of hatred to transform good and evil into one thing, ugly and cold, and fiery, motionless, what a horror this motionless life, this river which does not flow, which never finds a sea to lose.
A text with great expressive power by this writer.
19. Joy had made me strong, because (…) it had taught me that there was no work, no effort, no guilt, no problems, no trial, not even mistakes that aren’t worth dealing with when the goal, after all, is joy.
About the strength that comes from the spirit of hard work.
20. Even though the deserts bloom very slowly, the grass springs up to the ground before the eyes of those who look at it, and so time must pass, a long time, for someone to remember a good day when apples do not grow in the ground, that the apples necessarily fall from the trees.
Even where there seems to be only destruction is the seed of creation.
21. Then it would be she who would cry, she who would despair, she who would learn to pay for herself the true price of beautiful things.
The dialectic of suffering in relationships: it is not always the same person who loses the most.
22. He was still convinced that he had seen her there for the first time, Raquel Fernández Perea, without traps, without adornments, without excuses, perhaps more beautiful than her masks.
Almudena Grandes speaks of an intimate look at the person beyond his imposture.
23. The difference between eroticism and pornography, besides etymology, has to do with the attitude of the recipient of the message, it has to do with the attitude of the reader.
In cultural products, it is not only the product itself that matters, but also the expectations and role of those who consume them.
24. The expectation of happiness is more intense than happiness itself, but the pain of a consummated defeat always exceeds the intensity predicted in its worst calculations.
A tragic asymmetry.
25. Since I was little, I always wanted to be a writer, I don’t remember having wanted to be something else, because since I was little, what I liked the most in this life is reading.
An autobiographical note from this artist.
26. All I wanted was to grow old by her side, see her face when I woke up every morning, see her face for a moment before I fell asleep every night and die before her.
Almudena described here very common romantic aspirations.
27. I think early novels are always weird because when you write your first book you don’t even know if it’s writing a book or a text that’s going to end up in a drawer.
About the experience of writing the first works in the world of literature.
28. There was everything, and everything was worth it as long as an imprecise and universal excitement ran through the veins of the participants like a glossy and thick liquid, capable of making their blood more brilliant, thicker.
The description of a context of debauchery.
29. To write before it was necessary to read. Starting to write is a consequence of having read a lot, it’s like going through the mirror, like when Alice goes through the mirror. Reading and writing are acts of mirror.
You have to broaden your cultural level to have something to say.
30. We had been happy to walk on a loose rope, we had flourished in an infection of contradictions, we had found ourselves in a maze of paradoxes without ever looking at the ground, never looking at the sky, without looking.
About a situation where sensations reign and their intensity hides the need for planning.
31. An image with which I stumble, almost unintentionally, he warns me that he has a story behind him. And what I do is flip through these images that promise a story until I can find a way to open it, although it doesn’t always happen.
This excerpt tells us about a very personal way of looking at models in seemingly simple or chaotic information.
32. You have to write about what you know, what you have nearby and what interests you. Then what happens is the miracle of communication, which is based on the premise that all human beings are fundamentally very similar.
To really transmit you have to talk about what has emotional implications for yourself.
33. All human beings are alike because they are vulgar creatures, very simple in the end and in the head. And among the things they have in common, it’s not just sex.
The personality of each individual imprints very relative differences between each of us.
34. Humans are beings who desire and despair to wrest their own essence from them, dries them up, eviscerates them, ruins them, expels them from themselves by the temperate and deceptive path which leads to the destiny of things, to the fatigue of people. dusty vegetables, buried and inert minerals.
A reflection on the human condition.
35. We were all scared, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, all very scared.
There are situations where fear does not include lessons.
36. In the last days of summer they all became very sad, so much so that Rachel felt that they did not return, but left, that they went into exile bougainvilleas and oleanders, orange trees and olive trees smell of sea and harbor boats, whitewashed walls and white houses, flowered windows and shade of vines, gold of oil, silver of sardines, subtle mysteries of saffron and cinnamon, of their language and color, of the sun, of the light, of the blue, because for them to come back was not to return home, because it was only possible to return to Spain, although no one has ever dared to say that word.
A narrative fragment full of expressiveness.
37. It has been a long time, they will tell me, and they will be right, but we all still carry the dust of dictatorship in our shoes, so do you, even though you may not know it.
The psychological deposit that they leave some historical traumas it takes time to leave.
38. These are the others you should be afraid of, the ones who let you guess which way they are looking. These are the ones who are always looking in the opposite direction from what you imagine.
Uncertainty about the intentions of others can be a source of fear.
39. We all allow ourselves to be cheated at the same time, not because we are fools, but because good people are easy to cheat.
It is not possible to know everything, and therefore we deal with our ignorance.
40. Education, education and education, they said; it was like a motto, a slogan repeated over and over again, the magic formula to fix the world, to change things, to make people happy. They had lost everything, they had continued to work in places well below their capacities, academies, bakeries, telephone exchanges, but they still had that. They always had that.
One point of view may lead to claiming only education, leaving other needs unassisted.
41. Fear also excludes dignity, generosity, a sense of justice and even harms intelligence, because it alters the perception of reality and lengthens the shadows of all things. Cowardly people are even afraid of themselves.
Fear eliminates many human virtues.
42. Beauty is a monster, a bloody deity to be appeased with constant sacrifices.
Aesthetics can become obsessive.
43. Then he thought that silence weighs perhaps on the one who is silent more than the uncertainty on the one who does not know.
Not being able to express yourself it can be more painful than feeling ignorant.
44. Because there are famines much worse than having nothing to eat, a time much more cruel than having no roof to take shelter under, poverty more suffocating than living in a house without doors, without tiles or lights. She didn’t know, but I did.
A reflection on the cruel side of life.
45. Normally, when I write a novel or a collection of short stories, I start from the images: I walk in the street and each person that I do not know I appreciate as a character; each new situation, as an argument; every place I’ve been to, I appreciate it as a stage.
A commentary on the creation process.
46. It’s funny how, when a person writes an erotic novel, everyone assumes they have a life. [sexual] extremely intense and when someone writes murder novels no one is supposed to have charged their neighbor, nor is it assumed that a writer who writes sci-fi had contact in the third phase .
A sense of humor applied to how we perceive the relationship between art and artist.
47. Finishing a novel is a bit dramatic. The longer it takes to write the endings, the more I suffer. Getting to the end of a novel is a little dusty because you were able to. Ending it is like being kicked out of your home. I admit that one of the most terrible moments of my life is the day after the end of a novel.
Another of Almudena Grandes’ quotes about how writing lived.
48. It was too much love. Too big, too complicated, too confusing, risky, successful and painful. As much as I could give, more than suited me. That’s why he broke. It didn’t run out, it didn’t end, it didn’t die, it just broke, it sank like a tower too high, like a bet too high, like a hope too high.
recap of a love story.
49. He didn’t say anything, continued to smile. He reached out and turned the ignition key. The engine has started. The glasses were darkened. Outside it must have been freezing, a curtain of steam escaping from the hood. He leaned back against the seat, looked at me and I realized that the world was falling apart, the world was falling apart on top of me.
Fragment of a passage full of feelings.
50. I sat down on his lap. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me. The mere touch of his tongue echoed throughout my body. My back was shaking. He’s the reason for my life, I thought. It was an old thought already, banal, formulated hundreds of times in his absence, violently rejected lately, for poor, petty and pathetic.
Another of Almudena Grandes’ texts based on the romantic.
51. The maturity of my work is that now, when I start a novel, I know it one hundred percent. I have a notebook with the story resolved and the structure closed, I know how many chapters it contains, what goes into each of them and even how many pages it will contain and so far I have not want to write. But there is also an emotion inherent in writing, it is an adventure and when you feel like writing it can happen that what you have decided before is of no use to you.
A commentary on the artistic development of the writer.
52. The verb to believe is a special verb, the widest and narrowest of all verbs.
A sentence that invites you to reflect on your own expectations.
53. Not so long ago, in this same neighborhood, happiness was also a means of resisting.
The portrait of a life linked to location.
54. Maria Gràcia is also alone. She was also married, she did not have children either, her partner also abandoned her, she did not find another, she also lived better, she never lived worse than today.
This text shows the lyrical style in which the writer portrays many of his characters.
55. When I started working I was already tired, but that was a plus, not a minus. The routine of the house, the kids, the parents’ reunions, the Christmas, carnival, end of year costumes, the appointments with the guardians, the immunization schedule and all the rest, the have exhausted in such a way that the work the days did not seem so much.
A way of transform negative life situations.
56. If I were younger, I wouldn’t be so worried, because of a seizure, which ones I had to suck, my son. But we could, we were strong, we were used to suffering, to emigrate, to fight.
About a life marked by struggle.
57. But the Spaniards, whom we had known for many centuries being poor with dignity, we had never known how to be docile.
A look at the history of Spain.
58. Since nothing comes out for free, the cognac has been assigned to another breed. Now he looks like red and ruddy skin on his face in general, especially on his cheekbones, full of broken veins that branch out day after day to conquer and at the base of his nose.
An original description.
59. Because action is the enemy of reflection and I could no longer think.
One way to explain the behavior of a person from a duality.
60. We are in a neighborhood in the center of Madrid. Its name doesn’t matter, as it could be one of the few old quarters, with some venerable quarters, others rather old-fashioned. This one does not have a lot of monuments but it is beautiful, because it is alive.
There is an aesthetic quality that goes beyond what is material.
61. I knew it wasn’t exactly like that, it wasn’t true, but the truth was also disappearing, and I kept thinking the same thing, and it was good, I felt like somebody else. ‘one, of course, sometimes like that, was curious.
Forgetting can lead us to self-deception.
62. And I was alone, I felt alone, unable to speak, which is perhaps the worst form of loneliness.
a thought on loneliness.
63. To be a woman is to have a woman’s skin, two X chromosomes and the ability to conceive and nourish the offspring which the male of the species produces. And nothing more, because everything else is culture.
About sex differences.
64. Thirty years ago, children inherited poverty, but also the dignity of their parents, a way of being poor without feeling humiliated, without ceasing to be worthy or to fight for the future.
A nuance on the different ways of experiencing poverty.
65. Self-compassion is a very hard drug.
It can be addictive.
66. Immortal history does strange things when it is crossed with the love of mortal bodies.
The contradiction between the perpetual and the one with an expiration date.