The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

by

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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The Cemetery of Forgotten Books Symbol Analysis

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books Symbol Icon

When Daniel is a young boy, Mr. Sempere introduces him to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a clandestine Barcelona institution where booksellers preserve old books that are in danger of fading away in the real world. On his first and all subsequent visits, Daniel is awestruck, and feels that the library contains depths of knowledge and truth which he will never be able to fully understand. The secret and sacred library establishes books and literature as both precious and distinct from other forms of art and media, able to store and transmit complex truths that normally elude people, yet vulnerable to destruction in the petty and vulgar real world. The Cemetery also shows the extent to which literature draws people together in the novel. Daniel brings Bea there as a sign of his serious feelings for her; the final scene, in which Daniel brings his own son Julián there for the first time, is not only a moment of bonding between father and son but also a link back to Daniel’s relationship with his own father.

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books Quotes in The Shadow of the Wind

The The Shadow of the Wind quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Shadow of the Wind published in 2005.
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books Quotes

Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down the pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.

Related Characters: Mr. Sempere (speaker), Daniel Sempere
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

After a while it occurred to me that between the covers of each of those books lay a boundless universe waiting to be discovered, while beyond those walls, in the outside world, people allowed life to pass by in afternoons of football and radio soaps, content to do little more than gaze at their navels.

Related Characters: Daniel Sempere (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

It might have been that notion, or just chance, or its more flamboyant relative, destiny, but at that precise moment I knew I had already chosen the book I was going to adopt, or that was going to adopt me.

Related Characters: Daniel Sempere (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
An Empty Plate: Chapter 10 Quotes

I couldn’t help thinking that if I, by pure chance, had found a whole universe in a single unknown book, buried in that endless necropolis, tens of thousands more would remain unexplored, forgotten forever. I felt myself surrounded by millions of pages, by worlds and souls without an owner sinking into an ocean of darkness, while the world that throbbed outside the library seemed to be losing its memory, day after day, unknowingly, feeling all the wiser the more it forgot.

Related Characters: Daniel Sempere (speaker)
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Cemetery of Forgotten Books Symbol Timeline in The Shadow of the Wind

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Cemetery of Forgotten Books appears in The Shadow of the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...opens in Barcelona in 1945, as Daniel Sempere walks with his father to the mysterious Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time. Mr. Sempere warns Daniel never to speak to... (full context)
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...the author and those who read it. He says no one knows exactly how the Cemetery originated, but the men who know its secret now make sure that books without a... (full context)
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
Daniel is awed and amazed. Best of all, to commemorate his first visit to the cemetery, he gets to choose a book to take home with him. As he walks deliberately... (full context)
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...The Shadow of the Wind, by Julián Carax. He selects this book and leaves the cemetery, feeling that the book has been waiting for him since before he was born. (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 1
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Daniel is tempted to share the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books with his best friend, Tómas Aguilar. Tómas is a gifted classmate who... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...demands to know where Daniel found it, although Daniel won’t divulge the secret of the Cemetery. Barceló offers Mr. Sempere a large sum to buy the book, but Mr. Sempere says... (full context)
An Empty Plate: Chapter 9
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
Daniel takes his leave from Fermín and walks to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. While he waits for someone to answer his knock, he rereads The... (full context)
An Empty Plate: Chapter 10
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
The books that Nuria took from the factory are now hidden at the Cemetery, because a few days after she stole them she noticed a strange man following her... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...the loss of the book and thinks about the enormity of knowledge contained in the Cemetery, which can never be fully understood. (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 21
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...his obsession with and investigation into Carax. Bea demands that he take her to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, so they walk there, and Daniel convinces a skeptical Isaac to let... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 11
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...the company’s Carax stock. That night, Nuria hides copies of all Carax’s works in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and the warehouse is burned down. The night watchman at the warehouse... (full context)
Dramatis Personae
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...and Bernarda are married and have four children. Fermín is now the keeper of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Tomás is an engineer in Germany, and he and Daniel are friendly... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...repeats the novel’s first paragraph, in which a young man brings his son to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books at dawn. The child asks if he can share the secret with... (full context)