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

— Yann Martel

The most useful Yann Martel quotes that will inspire your inner self

My life is like a memento mori painting from European art: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly of human ambition.

59

Just beyond the ticket booth Father had painted on a wall in bright red letters the question: DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL IN THE ZOO? An arrow pointed to a small curtain. There were so many eager, curious hands that pulled at the curtain that we had to replace it regularly. Behind it was a mirror.

51

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.

46

I have a fierce 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.

43

Slice a pear and you will find that its flesh is incandescent white.

It glows with inner light. Those who carry a knife and a pear are never afraid of the dark.

38

Zoo is an artificial territory, an approximation. Civilization is our natural territory.

27

Life is a peephole, a single tiny entry onto a vastness--how can I not dwell on this brief, cramped view of things? This peephole is all I've got!

23

To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.

23

We commonly say in the trade that the most dangerous animal in a zoo is Man.

17

I know zoos are no longer in people's good graces.

Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.

13

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

13

If you stumble at mere believability, what are you living for? Isn't love hard to believe?

13

About Yann Martel

Quotes 228 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

I turned around, stepped over the Zebra and threw myself overboard.

10

The presence of God is the finest of rewards.

9

When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.

8

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.

8

It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.

8

Reality is how we interpret it. Imagination and volition play a part in that interpretation. Which means that all reality is to some extent a fiction.

7

My zoology thesis was a functional analysis of the thyroid gland of the three-toed sloth. I chose the sloth because its demeanour - calm, quiet and introspective - did something to soothe my shattered self.

6

It is a vast country, so that inspires you.

It's also the greatest hotel on earth: It welcomes people from everywhere. It's a good country to write from because in many ways Canada is the world.

6

Truth is a nebulous thing. There are certain, definite truths, but the truth of our lives goes far beyond facts.

6

Life on a lifeboat isn't much of a life.

5

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn't that make life a story?

5

I love Canada...It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos.

5

When the course of experience made me see that there is no saviour and no special grace, no remission beyond the human, that pain is to be endured and fades, if it fades, only with time, then God became nothing to me but a dyslexic dog, with neither bark nor bite.

5

Work, work, work, but what mark do we leave, what point do we make? People who are too beholden to work become like erasers: as things move forward, they leave in their wake no trace of themselves.

5

Nature can put on a thrilling show. The stage is vast, the lighting is dramatic, the extras are innumerable, and the budget for special effects is absolutely unlimited.

4

You can get used to anything - haven't I already said that? Isn't that what all survivors say?

4

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.

4

I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.

4

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.

4

Japanese-owned cargo ship Tsimtsum, flying Panamanian flag, sank July 2nd, 1977, in Pacific, four days out of Manila. Am in lifeboat. Pi Patel my name. Have some food, some water, but Bengal tiger a serious problem. Please advise family in Winnepeg, Canada. Any help very much appreciated. Thank you.

4

I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it.

It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion.

4

All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.

4

Come aboard if your destination is oblivion- it should be our next stop.

We can sit together. You can have the window seat if you want. But it's a sad view.

4

There is nothing more satisfying than having a sentence fall into place in a way you feel is right, and then adding another one and then another one. It's extraordinarily satisfying.

3

To me, religion is about our dignity, not our depravity.

3

The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity – it’s envy.

3

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

3

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.

3

At moments of wonder, it is easy to avoid small thinking, to entertain thoughts that span the universe, that capture both thunder and tinkle, thick and thin, the near and the far.

3

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

3

If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?

3

I spent more hours than I can count a quiet witness to the highly mannered, manifold expressions of life that grace our planet. It is something so bright, loud, weird and delicate as to stupefy the senses.

3

My next book - each one while I'm working on it - dances in my mind and thrills me at every turn. If it didn't, why would I write it?

3

The language of prose is very different than the language of cinema, so the movie has to successfully translate what was in the book.

3

My suffering left me sad and gloomy.

3

Religion is more than rite and ritual.

3

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.

3