Yann Martel


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

Author Quotes

Stories--individual stories, family stories, national stories--are what stitch together the disparate elements of human existence into a coherent whole. We are story animals.

The grand march of progress apparently includes the unfortunate necessity of chopping down every obstacle in its way.

The obsession with putting ourselves at the centre of everything is the bane not only of theologians but also of zoologists.

The worst pair of opposites is boredom and terror. Sometimes your life is a pendulum swing from one to the other. The sea is without a wrinkle. There is not a whisper of wind. The hours last forever. You are so bored you sink into a state of apathy close to a coma. Then the sea becomes rough and your emotions are whipped into a frenzy. Yet even these two opposites do not remain distinct. In your boredom there are elements of terror: you break down into tears; you are filled with dread; you scream; you deliberately hurt yourself And in the grip of terror?the worst storm?you yet feel boredom, a deep weariness with it all.

There's nothing like the unimaginable to make people believe.

Tiptoe to the water?s edge. They show their raiments.

We are a nation of engineers who aspire to be recognized.

Like punk rock, like Jackson Pollock, like Jack Kerouac, it was truly human, a mix of perfect beauty and cathartic error.

My face set to a grim and determined expression. I speak in all modesty as I say this, but I discovered at that moment that I have a fierce will to live. It's not something evident, in my experience. Some of us give up on life with only a resigned sigh. 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 every 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.

No! No! No! The suffering does matter. I want to live. I must not implicate the life of the universe's life. Life is a peephole, the only way a small infinity - how I leave this in the short, narrow look at what may be imposed on the world? I just did it!

People fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.

Repetition is important in the training not only of animals but also of humans.

Surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.

The Greater Good and the Greater Profit are not compatible aims.

The paths to liberation are numerous, but the bank along the way is always the same, the Bank of Karma, where the liberation account of each of us is credited or debited depending on our actions.

Then fear turns to your body, which already feels that something terrible and evil spirits is to occur. Already your breath flew like a bird and your guts escaped by crawling like a snake. Now you have the language that collapses like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on site. Your ears hear not. Your muscles begin to tremble as if you had malaria and your knees to quiver as if you were dancing. Your heart pump madly, while your sphincter relaxes. This is true of the rest of your body. Every part of you, in its way, loses its means. Only your eyes work well. They always lend full attention to fear. You quickly take rash decisions. You give up your last allies: hope and trust. Here you have defeated yourself. Fear, which is only an impression, has triumphed over you. This experience is difficult to express. For fear, real fear, one that shakes you to the core of you, that you feel when you are facing your final destiny, snuggled insidiously into your memory like a gangrene: it seeks at all rot, even the words to talk about her. So you have to fight very hard to call it by its name. You must relate hard to shine the light of words on it. Because if you do not, if fear becomes an unspeakable darkness that you avoid, you manage perhaps to forget, you expose yourself to further attacks of fear because you never really fought against the enemy that defeated you.

These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.

To be a castaway is to be caught up in grim and exhausting opposites.

We are all born like Catholics, aren't we?in limbo, without religion, until some figure introduces us to God?

It's morning in Bethany and God is hungry God wants His breakfast. He comes to a fig tree. It's not the season for figs so the tree has no figs. God is peeved. The Son mutters May you never bear fruit again and instantly the fig tree withers. So says Matthew backed up by Mark. I ask you is it the fig tree's fault that it's not the season for figs What kind of thing is that to do to an innocent fig tree whither it instantly I couldn't get Him out of my head. Still can't. I spent three solid days thinking about Him. The more He bothered me the less I could forget Him. And the more I learned about Him the less I wanted to leave Him.

Loneliness comes up to him like a sniffing dog. It circles him insistently. He waves it away, but it refuses to leave him alone.

My feelings can perhaps be imagined, but they can hardly be described.

Now comes the difficult part: you must provoke the animal that is afflicting you. Tiger, rhinoceros, ostrich, wild boar, brown bear- no matter the beast, you must get its goat.

People migrate because of worsening anxiety, because they sense no matter how ugly worked hard will the outcome of their work gives them, and that in the year Mayamrunh may destroy others in the day. Because of the feeling that the future is locked, they said masterminded and guardians will not be able to run the affairs of their children. Because of the feeling that nothing will change, and that the happiness and prosperity are possible only in another place.

Roetown, of mixed economy, neither boom nor bust, just ordinary times ? that is, hard ? had a slightly run-down aspect, I suppose. But in a pleasing way, like a man you love who has buttoned his coat up wrong.

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