Don Ricardo wanted a successor worthy of himself. Jorge would always be cocooned in the privileges of his class, hiding from his mediocrity in creature comforts. Penelope, the beautiful Penelope, was a woman, and therefore a treasure, not a treasurer. Julian, who had the soul of a poet, and therefore the soul of a murderer, fulfilled all the requirements. It was only a question of time.

This place is a mystery. A sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens. In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader’s hands, a new spirit …

Nothing feeds forgetfulness better than war, Daniel. We all keep quiet and they try to convince us that what we’ve seen, what we’ve done, what we’ve learned about ourselves and about others, is an illusion, a passing nightmare. Wars have no memory, and nobody has the courage to understand them until there are no voices left to tell what happened, until the moment comes when we no longer recognize them and they return, with another face and another name, to devour what they left behind.

p. 428

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