I bought this necklace today for no particular reason, I wanted to give it to someone, but I didn't know who that person was. Now that I see how good it looks on you, I want you to have it. That's what the birthday aura is. It's a powerful force, and it makes people do all sorts of strange things. I didn't know it at the time, but I was buying the necklace for you.
The hotel existence. I was just ten years old, but I can still remember the exact moment when the idea occurred to me (...). It was a Sunday afternoon during the war. The radio was on, and I was sitting in the living room of our house in Buffalo with a copy of life magazine, looking at pictures of the American troops in France. I had never been inside a hotel, but I (...) knew that they were special places, fortresses that protected you from the squalor and meanness of everyday life. (...) The sole purpose of a hotel was to make you happy and comfortable, and once you signed the register and went upstairs to your room, all you had to do was asking for something and it was yours. A hotel represented the promise of a better world, a place that was more than just a place, but an opportunity, a chance to live inside your dreams.
I hate feeling grumpy and bored. I'm an enthusiast, and the more dangerous my life becomes, the happier I am. Some people gamble at cards. Other people climb mountains or jump out of airplanes. I like tricking people. I like seeing how much I can get away with. Even as a kid, one of my dreams was to publish an encyclopaedia in which all the information was false. Wrong dates for every historical event, wrong locations for every river, biographies of people who never existed.
Most lives vanish. A person dies, and little by little all traces of that life disappear. An inventor survives in his inventions, an architect survives in his buildings, but most people leave behind no monuments or lasting achievements (...). A few objects, a few documents, and a smattering of impressions made on other people (...). My idea was this: to form a company that would publish books about the forgotten ones, to rescue the stories and facts and documents before they disappeared — and shape them into a continuous narrative, the narrative of a life.
[livro sugerido pelo colaborador do "Projecto de Documentação" Jeremy Xido]