Yann Martel

Yann
Martel
1963

Spanish-born Canadian Author of Novel "Life of Pi"

Author Quotes

What a terrible thing it is to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape. For example - I wonder - could you tell my jumbled story in exactly one hundred chapters, not one more, not one less? I'll tell you, that's one thing I have about my nickname, the way the number runs on forever. It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse. That bungled goodbye hurts me to this day. I wish so much that I'd had one last look at him in the lifeboat, that I'd provoked him a little, so that I was on his mind. I wish I had said to him then - yes, I know, to a tiger, but still - I wish I had said, Richard Parker, it's over. We have survived. Can you believe it? I owe you more gratitude than I can express I couldn't have done it without you. I would like to say it formally: Richard Parker, thank you. Thank you for saving my life. And now go where you must. You have known the confined freedom of a zoo most of your life; now you will know the free confinement of a jungle. I wish you all the best with it. Watch out for Man. He is not your friend. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you , that is certain. You will always be with me, in my heart. What is that hiss? Ah, our boat has touched sand. So farewell, Richard Parker, farewell. God be with you.

While Christians kneel before a white man! They are flunkies of a foreign god. They are nightmare of all nonwhite people.

You may be astonished that in such a short period of time I could go from weeping over the muffled killing of a flying fish to gleefully bludgeoning to death a dorado. I could explain it by arguing that profiting from a pitiful flying fish?s navigational mistake made me shy and sorrowful, while the excitement of actively capturing a great dorado made me sanguinary and self-assured. But in point of fact the explanation lies elsewhere. It is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even to killing.

What a thing to acknowledge in your heart! To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures to people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing-I?m sorry, I would rather not go on.

Why can we throw a question further than we can pull in an answer?

You may not believe in life, but I don't believe in death. ... The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity--it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.

What don?t we realize is that we are a strange and forbidding species to wild animals. We fill them with fear. They avoid us as much as possible. It took centuries to still the fear in some pliable animals ? domestication it?s called ? but most cannot get over their fear, and I doubt they ever will. When wild animals fight us, it is out of sheer desperation. They fight when they feel they have no other way out.

Why can't reason give greater answers? Why can we throw a question further than we can pull in an answer? Why such a vast net if there's so little fish to catch?

You might have noticed that I have been sending you used books. I have done this not to save money, but to make a point which is that a used book, unlike a used car, hasn't lost any of its initial value. A good story rolls of the lot into the hands of its new reader as smoothly as the day it was written. And there's another reason for these used paperbacks that never cost much even when new; I like the idea of holding a book that someone else has held, of eyes running over lines that have already seen the light of other eyes. That, in one image, is the community of readers, is the communion of literature.

What his uncle does not understand is that in walking backwards, his back to the world, his back to God, he is not grieving. He is objecting. Because when everything cherished by you in life has been taken away, what else is there to do but object?

Why do people move out?... People on the move to a better life.

You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did. And as a result I perked up and felt much better.

What is important in life is to end everything for chin chu. There's a new me peace of mind that goes by. Otherwise, we also full time in the words to say, but nobody ever said, and my heart will be heavy with regret.

Why do people move? What makes them uproot and leave everything they've known for a great unknown beyond the horizon? Why climb this Mount Everest of formalities that makes you feel like a beggar? Why enter this jungle of foreignness where everything is new, strange and difficult? The answer is the same the world over: people move in the hope of a better life.

You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

What is the purpose of reason, Richard Parker? Is it no more than to shine at practicalities - the getting of food, clothing and shelter? Why can't reason give greater answers? Why can we throw a question further than we can pull in an answer? Why such a vast net of there's so little fish to catch?

Why make dirty what is beautiful, spoil what is perfect? Love.

You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.

What of God?s silence? I think it over. I add:

Why tolerate darkness? Everything is here and it is clear if we look with due attention.

You see these guinea pigs? Well... they're not dangerous.

We believe what we see...What do you do when you?re in the dark?

Whatever the reason for wanting to escape, sane or insane, zoo detractors should realize that animals don't escape to somewhere but from something. Something within their territory has frightened them - the intrusion of an enemy, the assault of a dominant animal, a startling noise - and set off a flight reaction.... Animals that escape go from the known into the unknown - and if there is one thing an animal hates above all else, it is the unknown.

Why would God undergo something? Why not leave death to the mortals? Why I had to mess that was beautiful, spoil perfection?

You see, the penis, it's so graceless, wouldn't you agree? When it's cold and shriveled up, it looks like W.H. Auden in his old age; when it's hot, it flops and dangles about in a ridiculous way; when it's excited, it looks so pained and earnest you'd think it was going to burst into tears. And the scrotum! To think that something so vital to the survival of the species, fully responsible for 50 per cent of the ingredients--though none of the work--should hang freely from the body in a tiny, defenseless bag of skin. One whack, one bite, one paw-scratch--and it's just the right level, too, for your average animal, a dog, a lion, a sabre-tooth tiger--and that's it, end of story. Don't you think it should get better protection? Behind some bone, for example, like us? What could be better than our nicely tapered entrance? It's discreet and stylish, everything is cleverly and compactly encased in the body, with nothing hanging out within easy reach of a closing subway door, there's a neat triangle of hair above it, like a road sign, should you lose your way--it's perfect. The penis is just such a lousy design. It's pre-Scandinavian. Pre-Bauhaus, even.

First Name
Yann
Last Name
Martel
Birth Date
1963
Bio

Spanish-born Canadian Author of Novel "Life of Pi"