There's hope for everyone. That's what makes the world go round.

— Paul Auster

The most whopping Paul Auster quotes that are glad to read

And that's why books are never going to die.

It's impossible. It's the only time we really go into the mind of a stranger, and we find our common humanity doing this. So the book doesn't only belong to the writer, it belongs to the reader as well, and then together you make it what it is.

39

One should never underestimate the power of books.

39

Most people just want to be part of the world, they want to live, love, and enjoy themselves - to take part in the world around them. Whereas artists are always retreating, locking the door, and inventing other worlds.

35

It often happens that things are other than what they seem, and you can get yourself into trouble by jumping to conclusions.

28

Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author's words reverberating in your head.

26

Memory is the space in which a thing happens for a second time.

20

It seems to me that I will always be happy in the place where I am not.

19

As long as you are dreaming, there is always a way out

15

Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world.

15

Everything can change at any moment, suddenly and forever.

15

The pictures do not lie, but neither do they tell the whole story.

They are merely a record of time passing, the outward evidence.

12

We exist for ourselves, perhaps, and at times we even have a glimmer of who we are, but in the end we can never be sure, and as our lives go on, we become more and more opaque to ourselves, more and more aware of our own incoherence. No one can cross the boundary into another – for the simple reason that no one can gain access to himself.

10

About Paul Auster

Quotes 274 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

It's extremely difficult to get these jobs because you can't get a job on a ship unless you have seaman's paper's, and you can't get seaman's papers unless you have a job on a ship. There had to be a way to break through the circle, and he was the one who arranged it for me.

7

Dismantling the architecture of my discontent

7

All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are.

7

The pen will never be able to move fast enough to write down every word discovered in the space of memory. Some things have been lost forever, other things will perhaps be remembered again, and still other things have been lost and found and lost again. There is no way to be sure of any this.

6

We construct a narrative for ourselves, and that's the thread that we follow from one day to the next. People who disintegrate as personalities are the ones who lose that thread.

6

Money is the driving force of Hand to Mouth, the lack of money, and all those true stories about strange things in The Red Notebook, coincidences and unlikely events, surprise, the unexpected.

5

You can't put your feet on the ground until you've touched the sky.

5

As my friend George Oppen once said to me about getting old: what a strange thing to happen to a little boy.

5

Bodies count, of course - they count more than we're willing to admit - but we don't fall in love with bodies, we fall in love with each other. We all know that, but the moment we go beyond a catalogue of surface qualities and appearances, words begin to fail us, to crumble apart in mystical confusions and cloudy, unsubstantial metaphors.

5

As a poet or a novelist or a painter, you are pushing yourself all the time, always looking for a new way to approach something, challenging yourself and never, never trying to write the same book twice.

4

Farts come from no one and nowhere; they are anonymous emanations that belong to the group as a whole, and even when every person in the room can point to the culprit, the only sane course of action is denial.

4

I guess I wanted to leave America for awhile.

It wasn't that I wanted to become an expatriate, or just never come back, I needed some breathing room. I'd already been translating French poetry, I'd been to Paris once before and liked it very much, and so I just went.

4

Some people are great, and they approach each work with honesty, and that's wonderful. But when people have built up a sort of resentment or animosity for reasons that are hard to put your finger on, they read in bad faith.

3

You see, the interesting thing about books, as opposed, say, to films, is that it's always just one person encountering the book, it's not an audience, it's one to one.

3

You have to protect it too, you can't let just any stupid person take it and do something demoralizing with it. At the same time, I don't believe in being so rigid about controlling what happens either.

3

To leave the world a little better than you found it. That's the best a man can ever do.

3

No one can cross the boundary into another -- for the simple reason that no one can gain access to himself

3

This was the first time he had seriously confronted what he was doing, and the force of that awareness came very abruptly - with a surging of his pulse and a frantic pounding in his head. He was about to gamble his life on that table, and the insanity of that risk filled him with a kind of awe.

3

The mental state I'm in is completely different, but the act of trying to write is the same. I mean, in all instances you try to write good sentences. But in a novel you're free to do whatever you want, and in the autobiographical works you can't make things up.

3

I think that sense of unreality inspired me to write the story within the book that [August] Brill tells himself, one of the stories he tells himself.

3

In the end, each life is no more than the sum of contingent facts, a chronicle of chance intersections, of flukes, of random events that divulge nothing but their own lack of purpose.

3

I guess of all those novels, Don DeLillo's Falling Man is the one I like the best. I thought there were some beautiful things in that, particularly the relationship between the man who finds the briefcase and the woman whose husband owned the briefcase. It's quite a beautiful passage.

3

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.

3

We all want to believe in impossible things, I suppose, to persuade ourselves that miracles can happen.

3

The only person I knew how to be with now was myself - but I wasn´t really anyone, and I wasn´t really alive. I was just someone who pretended to be alive, a dead mean who spent his days translating a dead man´s book.

2

He slipped away slowly, withdrawing from this world by small, imperceptible degrees, and in the end it was as if he were a drop of water evaporating in the sun, shrinking and shrinking until at last he wasn’t there anymore.

2

Memoirs have dominated the literary scene now for ten or 20 or even 30 years: most of them seem to use the conventions of fiction and it's astonishing how in so many of these books people seem to be able to remember conversations that took place when they were five years old and give three pages of coherent dialogue, which is utterly impossible.

2

Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don't choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you're not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.

2

Something happens, Blue thinks, and then it goes on happening forever.

It can never be changed, can never be otherwise.

2

Libraries aren't in the real world, after all.

They're places apart, sanctuaries of pure thought. In this way I can go on living on the moon for the rest of my life.

2

Every book is an image of solitude. It is a tangible object that one can pick up, put down, open, and close, and its words represent many months if not many years, of one man’s solitude, so that with each word one reads in a book one might say to himself that he is confronting a particle of that solitude

2

In the same way, the world is not the sum of all the things that are in it.

It is the infinitely complex network of connections among them. As in the meanings of words, things take on meaning only in relationship to each other.

1

I had made an empirical discovery and it carried all the weight of a mathematical proof.

1

In the old physics, three times two equals six and two times three equals 6 are reversible propositions. Not in quantum physics. Three times two and two times three are two different matters, distinct and separate propositions.

1

I've been very lucky in this second marriage.

It's just luck. It's absolute luck. And I can only marvel at it. So many other things could have happened that didn't, so overall I feel blessed.

1

I've found that writing novels is an all-absorbing experience - both physical and mental - and I have to do it every day in order to keep the rhythm, to keep myself focused on what I'm doing.

0

I woke up one day and thought: I want to write a book about the history of my body. I could justify talking about my mother because it was in her body that my body began.

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