Yann Martel


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

Author Quotes

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.

My agency was pure and miraculous. It conferred power upon me.

Nil magnum nisi bonum. There is no glory without virtue.

Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid down. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread.

Religion? Mr. Kumar grinned broadly. I don?t believe in religion. Religion is darkness.

Stories full of metaphors are by writers who play the language like a mandolin for our entertainment, novelists,

The first is the sense of wonder that goes deeper.

The most dangerous animal in a zoo is Man.

The truth of life is that Brahman is no different from atman, the spiritual force within us, what you might call the soul.

There's no boot. No boot? No. That makes me sad. I ate it. You ate the boot? Yes. Was it good? No. Were the cigarettes good? No. I couldn't finish them. I couldn't finish the boot.

Time is an illusion that only makes us pant.

Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.

Life on a lifeboat isn?t much of a life. It is like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn?t be more simple, nor the stakes higher. Physically it is extraordinarily arduous, and morally it is killing. You must make adjustments if you want to survive. Much becomes expendable. You get happiness where you can. You reach a point where you're at the bottom of hell, yet you have your arms crossed and a smile on your face, and you feel you're the luckiest person on earth. Why? Because at your feet you have a tiny dead fish.

My alarm clock during my childhood was a pride of lions.

No one dies of nausea, but it can seriously sap the will to live.

Others fight a little, then lose hope. Still others--and I am one of those--never give up. We fight and fight and fight. We fight no matter the cost of battle, the losses we take, the improbability of success. We fight to the very end. It's not a question of courage. It's something constitutional, an inability to let go. It may be nothing more than life hungry stupidity.

Remember that your days on this earth are counted and you might as well make the best of those you have left.

Stories identify, unify, give meaning to. Just as music is noise that makes sense, a painting is color that makes sense, so a story is life that makes sense.

The first step to survival is an open eye for what is at hand and what must be done next. Who waits in idle hope of help, of wasting his life with reverie.

The obsession settling in the center of everything is the bane of both theologians and zoologists.

The world is not so simple as it is. So, we realize it, is not it? And that something you realize something is to do, is not it? I do not make that story from the life ?

There's no peace like the peace of an inner courtyard on a sunny day.

Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.

Was it the forgetfulness of old age or personal incapacity that made the man able to say please but not thank you?

life will defend itself no matter how small it is.

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