Yann Martel


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

Author Quotes

We are of course also allowed to doubt. But we must go on. Choose doubt as a philosophy of life as well as a means of transport chosen stagnation.

It's not right that gentleness meet horror.

Love is a house with many rooms, this room to feed the love, this one to entertain it, this one to clean it, this one to dress it, this one to allow it to rest, and each of these rooms can also just as well be the room for laughing or the room for listening or the room for apologizing or the room for intimate togetherness, and, of course, there are the rooms for the new members of the household.

My gratitude to him is as boundless as the Pacific ocean.

Of hunger and thirst, thirst is the greater imperative.

People move in the hope of a better life.

science can only take you so far and then you have to leap

That I was a swimmer made no waves; it seems to be a law of human nature that those who live by the sea are suspicious of swimmers, just as those who live in the mountains are suspicious of mountain climbers.

The individual soul touches upon the world soul like a well reaches for the water table. That which sustains the universe beyond thought and language, and that which is at the core of us and struggles for expression, is the same thing. The finite within the infinite, the infinite within the finite.

The reason death sticks do closely to life isn't biological necessity-its 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 an thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.

Then, what is the point of having a reasonable, Richard Parker? Is just to meet daily needs - looking for food, clothing, and a roof for shelter? Why reason cannot give answers that are more complex? Why can we ask for things no answer? Why has the mesh so great that very few fish to catch?

They were dead; I could no longer deny it. 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.

To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one?s life away.

We are random animals. That is who we are, and we have only ourselves, nothing more-there is no greater relationship. Long before Darwin, a priest lucid in his madness encountered four chimpanzees on a forlorn island in Africa and hit upon a great truth: We are risen apes, not fallen angels.

I've never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart.

Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer.

My greatest wish -- other than salvation -- was to have a book. A long book with a never-ending story. One I could read again and again, with new eyes and a fresh understanding each time.

Of the river of time, he worries neither about its spring nor its delta.

Plan Number Three: Attack Him with All Available Weaponry. Ludicrous. I wasn?t Tarzan. I was a puny, feeble, vegetarian life form.

Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.

That is the greatness of literature, and its paradox, that in reading about fictional others we end up reading about ourselves. Sometimes this unwitting self-examination provokes smiles of recognition, while other times? it provokes shudders of worry and denial. Either way, we are the wiser, we are existentially thicker.

The long-term optimism may be the product of only one thing: reason. Any unreasonable optimism tends to be defeated by reality and even to lead to greater unhappiness. Optimism must therefore be grounded in reason, unshakably rooted in it, so that pessimism becomes a silly attitude, myopic. Being the reasonableness that thing inglorious and warm it is, this means that that optimism can arise only from small, almost ridiculous, and yet undeniable achievements.

The reward for the watching eye and listening ear is great.

There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless.

Things did not turn out as it should have, but what can you do? They have to accept life as it comes, and as far as possible, have to make the best of it.

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