All Time Famous Yann Martel Quotes

Yann Martel Quotes

Yann Martel, born on June 25, 1963, in Spain, is a Canadian author renowned for his novel “Life of Pi,” which won the Man Booker Prize in 2002. Raised in various countries, Martel’s multicultural background influences his writing. “Life of Pi” follows the journey of Pi Patel, a young Indian boy who survives a shipwreck on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The novel explores themes of survival, faith, and storytelling. Martel’s other works include “Self,” “Beatrice and Virgil,” and “The High Mountains of Portugal.” Known for his philosophical and existential themes, Martel’s writing blends adventure and introspection, earning him critical acclaim and commercial success in contemporary literature.

Yann Martel Quotes

1. “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.”
— Yann Martel

2. “You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.”
— Yann Martel

3. “To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
— Yann Martel

4. “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.”
— Yann Martel

5. “Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, he was watching. Even when he seemed indifferent to my suffering, he was watching. And when I was beyond all hope of saving, he gave me rest. Then he gave me a sign to continue my journey.”
— Yann Martel

6. “I have a story that will make you believe in God.”
— Yann Martel

7. “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…”
— Yann Martel

8. “How long does it take for a broken spirit to kill a body that has food, water and shelter?”
— Yann Martel

9. “It is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even to killing.”
— Yann Martel

10. “When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.”
— Yann Martel

11. “I can only tell my story, what you believe is up to you.”
— Yann Martel

12. “I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it. It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion.”
— Yann Martel

13. “If you don’t have dreams, how do you maneuver reality? Where do you get the ideas to change reality if not from dreams?”
— Yann Martel

14. “I love Canada. Its a wonderful political act of faith that exists atop a breathtakingly beautiful land.”
— Yann Martel

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

16. “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.”
— Yann Martel

17. “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.”
— Yann Martel

18. “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.”
— Yann Martel

19. “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.”
— Yann Martel

20. “Afterwards, when it’s all over, you meet God. What do you say to God?”
— Yann Martel

21. “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.”
— Yann Martel

22. “Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love – but sometimes it was so hard to love.”
— Yann Martel

23. “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?”
— Yann Martel

24. “Art is the suitcase of history, carrying the essentials. Art is the life buoy of history. Art is seed, art is memory, art is vaccine.”
— Yann Martel

25. “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.”
— Yann Martel

26. “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.”
— Yann Martel

27. “I love cinema. I think the risk of the aesthetics being fixed is compensated by other advantages. Cinema is visually powerful, it is a complete experience, reaches different audience. It’s something I really like. I like movies.”
— Yann Martel

28. “The animals might embody certain traits. We think of tigers as being ferocious, etc. But to my mind, it was the other way around: the humans embodied certain animal traits.”
— Yann Martel

29. “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God.”
— Yann Martel

30. “To me, religion is about our dignity, not our depravity.”
— Yann Martel

31. “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?”
— Yann Martel

32. “That’s what fiction is about, isn’t it, the selective transforming of reality? The twisting of it to bring out its essence?”
— Yann Martel

33. “I did not count the days or the weeks or the months. Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.”
— Yann Martel

34. “He’s a shy man. Life has taught him not to show off what is most precious to him.”
— Yann Martel

35. “The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity – it’s envy.”
— Yann Martel

36. “Fanatics do not have faith – they have belief. With faith you let go. You trust. Whereas with belief you cling.”
— Yann Martel

37. “As much as I love movies, it would be presumptuous of me to think that I know how to make one.”
— Yann Martel

38. “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.”
— Yann Martel

39. “As for hearing, the sloth is not so much deaf as uninterested in sound.”
— Yann Martel

40. “I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality.”
— Yann Martel

41. “Don’t you bully me with your politeness!”
— Yann Martel

42. “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.”
— Yann Martel

43. “The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar.”
— Yann Martel

44. “Life is an interpretation of a series of facts, and that interpretation is really what life is about. So the division between non-fiction and fiction has a certain logic, but it’s a very limited one. And by and large, it isn’t helpful.”
— Yann Martel

45. “Words are much better at relating emotions and thoughts.”
— Yann Martel

46. “Life on a lifeboat isn’t much of a life.”
— Yann Martel

47. “If literature does one thing, it makes you more empathetic by making you live other lives and feel the pain of others. Ideologues don’t feel the pain of others because they haven’t imaginatively got under their skins.”
— Yann Martel

48. “Books, like people, can’t be reduced to the cost of the materials with which they were made. Books, like people, become unique and precious once you get to know them.”
— Yann Martel

49. “My gratitude to him is as boundless as the Pacific ocean.”
— Yann Martel

50. “It’s amazing how willpower can build walls.”
— Yann Martel

51. “When your own life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a terrible, selfish hunger for survival.”
— Yann Martel

52. “You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did. And as a result I perked up and felt much better.”
— Yann Martel

53. “It was as unbelievable as the moon catching fire.”
— Yann Martel

54. “A realization that the founding principle of existence is what we call love, which works itself out sometimes not clearly, not cleanly, not immediately, nonetheless ineluctably.”
— Yann Martel

55. “First wonder goes deepest; wonder after that fits in the impression made by the first.”
— Yann Martel

56. “If there’s only one nation in the sky, shouldn’t all passports be valid for it?”
— Yann Martel

57. “I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he’s not careful.”
— Yann Martel

58. “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.”
— Yann Martel

59. “The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t a biological necessity; it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.”
— Yann Martel

60. “Misery loves company, and madness calls it forth.”
— Yann Martel

61. “My suffering left me sad and gloomy.”
— Yann Martel

62. “I wish I could convey the perfection of a seal slipping into water or a spider monkey swinging from point to point or a lion merely turning its head. But language founders in such seas. Better to picture it in your head if you want to feel it.”
— Yann Martel

63. “My alarm clock during my childhood was a pride of lions.”
— Yann Martel

64. “Just as music is noise that makes sense, a painting is colour that makes sense, so a story is life that makes sense.”
— Yann Martel

65. “You can get used to anything – haven’t I already said that? Isn’t that what all survivors say?”
— Yann Martel

66. “Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you’ve defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you.”
— Yann Martel

67. “Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu, how good to see you Richard Parker!”
— Yann Martel

68. “It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go.”
— Yann Martel

69. “Religion is more than rite and ritual.”
— Yann Martel

70. “For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out.”
— Yann Martel

71. “Blessed be shock. Blessed be the part of us that protects us from too much pain and sorrow. At the heart of life is a fusebox.”
— Yann Martel

72. “Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat wearing Muslims.”
— Yann Martel

73. “We think we live in a global village. We don’t. The world is a big and beautiful and incredibly varied place. It can only be known locally, with your two feet on the ground. We should stick to our own gardens, as Voltaire said.”
— Yann Martel

74. “People move in the hope of a better life.”
— Yann Martel

75. “It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life.”
— Yann Martel

76. “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.”
— Yann Martel

77. “All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. – “The Life of Pi.”
— Yann Martel

78. “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.”
— Yann Martel

79. “Atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith, and every word they speak speaks of faith. Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them – and then they leap.”
— Yann Martel

80. “India is a place where all stories are possible. You forget that the imagination can take hold of anything and contemplate it and love it and describe it.”
— Yann Martel

81. “You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”
— Yann Martel

82. “Books are something social – a writer speaking to a reader – so I think making the reading of a book the center of a social event, the meeting of a book club, is a brilliant idea.”
— Yann Martel

83. “The presence of God is the finest of rewards.”
— Yann Martel

84. “I’m not a consumer. I hate buying clothes. I don’t have a mobile. I just don’t need things. I don’t like things.”
— Yann Martel

85. “Fiction and nonfiction are not so easily divided. Fiction may not be real, but it’s true; it goes beyond the garland of facts to get to emotional and psychological truths.”
— Yann Martel

86. “Words are cold, muddy toads trying to understand sprites dancing in a field-but they’re all we have.”
— Yann Martel

87. “Artists invent things as a way of telling the truth.”
— Yann Martel

88. “I can well imagine an athiest’s last words: “White, white! L-L-Love! My God!” – and the deathbed leap of faith. Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying “Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain,” and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story.”
— Yann Martel

89. “Then the elderly man said, “I have a story that will make you believe in God.”
— Yann Martel

90. “Was it the forgetfulness of old age or personal incapacity that made the man able to say please but not thank you?”
— Yann Martel

91. “I find that movies tend to fix the aesthetics of a story in people’s minds.”
— Yann Martel

92. “If you are pitched into misery, remember that your days on this earth are counted and you might as well make the best of those you have left.”
— Yann Martel

93. “Just do it. Get it down on the page. Work hard. And then let go. Ask yourself why you want to write. You have to be clear about that.”
— Yann Martel

94. “Everything was screaming: the sea, the wind, my heart.”
— Yann Martel

95. “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.”
— Yann Martel

96. “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 coul forget Him. And the more I learned about Him, the less I wanted to leave Him.”
— Yann Martel

97. “Life will defend itself no matter how small it is.”
— Yann Martel

98. “Gloom is but a shadow of a cloud passing by.”
— Yann Martel

99. “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!”
— Yann Martel

100. “Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.”
— Yann Martel

101. “I thought they were helping me. I was so full of trust in them that I felt grateful as they carried me in the air. Only when they threw me overboard did I begin to have doubts.”
— Yann Martel

102. “Isn’t telling about something-using words, English or Japanese-already something of an invention? Isn’t just looking upon this world already something of an invention?”
— Yann Martel

103. “If you take two steps towards God,′ he used to tell me, ‘God runs to you!”
— Yann Martel

104. “We are all born like Catholics, aren’t we – in limbo, without religion, until some figure introduces us to God?”
— Yann Martel

105. “With the very first rays of light it came alive in me: hope. As things emerged in outline and filled with colour, hope increased until it was like a song in my heart. Oh, what it was to bask in it!”
— Yann Martel

106. “I thought I knew not only her habits but also her limits. This display of ferocity, of savage courage, made me realize that I was wrong. All my life I had known only a part of her.”
— Yann Martel

107. “If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ then 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.”
— Yann Martel

108. “Why can’t reason give greater answers? Why can we throw a question further than we can pull in an answer? Why such a vast net if there’s so little fish to catch?”
— Yann Martel

109. “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.”
— Yann Martel

110. “My fingers, which a second before had been taste buds savouring the food a little ahead of my mouth, became dirty under his gaze. They froze like criminals caught in the act. I didn’t dare lick them. I wiped them guiltily on my napkin. He had no idea how deeply those words wounded me. They were like nails being driven into my flesh. I picked up the knife and fork. I had hardly ever used such instruments. My hands trembled. My sambar lost its taste.”
— Yann Martel

111. “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.”
— Yann Martel

112. “Can there be any happiness greater than the happiness of salvation?”
— Yann Martel

113. “My feelings can perhaps be imagined, but they can hardly be described.”
— Yann Martel

114. “The blackness would stir and eventually go away, and God would remain, a shining point of light in my heart. I would go on loving.”
— Yann Martel

115. “If you stumble at mere believability, what are you living for? Isn’t love hard to believe?”
— Yann Martel

116. “You bring joy and pain in equal measure. Joy because you are with me, but pain because it wont be for long.”
— Yann Martel

117. “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.”
— Yann Martel

118. “High calls low and low calls high. I tell you, if you were in such dire straits as I was, you too would elevate your thoughts. The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar.”
— Yann Martel

119. “The worst pair of opposites is boredom and terror. Sometimes your life is a pendulum swing from one to the other.”
— Yann Martel

120. “I had to stop hoping so much that a ship would rescue me. I should not count on outside help. Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway’s worst mistake is to hope too much and to do too little. Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.”
— Yann Martel

121. “We commonly say in the trade that the most dangerous animal in a zoo is Man.”
— Yann Martel

122. “I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. 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.”
— Yann Martel

123. “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.”
— Yann Martel

124. “Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater.”
— Yann Martel

125. “Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love – but sometimes it was so hard to love. Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the very bottom of the Pacific and I would not be able to lift it back up.”
— Yann Martel

126. “The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar. It was natural that, bereft and desperate as I was, in the throes of unremitting suffering. I should turn to God.”
— Yann Martel

127. “It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I’ve made none the champion.”
— Yann Martel

128. “I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.”
— Yann Martel

129. “There’s no peace like the peace of an inner courtyard on a sunny day.”
— Yann Martel

130. “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.”
— Yann Martel

131. “I was giving up. I would have given up – if a voice hadn’t made itself heard in my heart. The voice said “I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen.”
— Yann Martel

132. “Much hostile and aggressive behaviour among animals is the expression of social insecurity.”
— Yann Martel

133. “I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape.”
— Yann Martel

134. “Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.”
— Yann Martel

135. “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.”
— Yann Martel

136. “Repetition is important in the training not only of animals but also of humans.”
— Yann Martel

137. “Christianity is a religion in a rush. Look at the world created in seven says. Even on a symbolic lovel, that’s creation in frenzy.”
— Yann Martel

138. “Whatever the reason for wanting to escape, sane or insane, zoo detractors should realize that animals don’t escape to somewhere but from something.”
— Yann Martel

139. “I felt I was beating a rainbow to death.”
— Yann Martel

140. “We fight no matter the cost of battle, the losses we take, the improbability of success. We fight to the very end. It is not the question of courage. It is something constitutional, an ability to let go. It maybe nothing more than life-hungry stupidity.”
— Yann Martel

141. “Why make dirty what is beautiful, spoil what is perfect? Love.”
— Yann Martel

142. “He seems to be attracting religions the way a dog attracts fleas.”
— Yann Martel

143. “What is the purpose of reason, Richard Parker? Is it no more than to shine at practicalities – the getting of food, clothing and shelter? Why can’t reason give greater answers? Why can we throw a question further than we can pull in an answer? Why such a vast net of there’s so little fish to catch?”
— Yann Martel

144. “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 tree, wither it instantly?”
— Yann Martel

145. “Books lined the shelves of bookstores like kids standing in a row to play baseball or soccer, and mine was the gangly, unathletic kid that no one wanted on their team.”
— Yann Martel

146. “I preferred to set off and perish in search of my own kind than to live a lonely half-life of physical comfort and spiritual death on this murderous island.”
— Yann Martel

147. “I cannot think of a better way to spread the faith. No thundering from a pulpit, no condemnation from bad churches, no peer pressure, just a book of scripture quietly waiting to say hello, as gentle and powerful as a little girl’s kiss on your cheek.”
— Yann Martel

148. “Despair was a heavy blackness that let no light in or out. It was a hell beyond expression. I thank God it always passed.”
— Yann Martel

149. “A house is a compressed territory where our basic needs can be fulfilled close by and safely.”
— Yann Martel

150. “I was not wounded in any part of my body, but I had never experienced such intense pain, such a ripping of the nerves, such an ache of the heart.”
— Yann Martel

151. “In my youth, it was my good luck to have a few good teachers, men and women, who came into my head and lit a match.”
— Yann Martel

152. “The moon was a sharply defined crescent and the sky was perfectly clear. The stars shone with such fierce, contained brilliance that it seemed absurd to call the night dark.”
— Yann Martel

153. “You may not believe in life, but I don’t believe in death. Move on!”
— Yann Martel

154. “Things didn’t turn out the way they were suppsed to, but qhat can you do? You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.”
— Yann Martel

155. “I turned around, stepped over the Zebra and threw myself overboard.”
— Yann Martel

156. “So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?′ Mr. Okamoto: ‘That’s an interesting question?’ Mr. Chiba: ‘The story with animals.’ Mr. Okamoto: ‘Yes. The story with animals is the better story.’ Pi Patel: ‘Thank you. And so it goes with God.”
— Yann Martel

157. “What a terrible thing it is to botch a farewell.”
— Yann Martel

158. “Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer.”
— Yann Martel

159. “The obsession with putting ourselves at the centre of everything is the bane not only of theologians but also of zoologists.”
— Yann Martel

160. “No one dies of nausea, but it can seriously sap the will to live.”
— Yann Martel

161. “Christianity is a religion in a rush.”
— Yann Martel

162. “Truth is a nebulous thing. There are certain, definite truths, but the truth of our lives goes far beyond facts.”
— Yann Martel

163. “And I survived because I made a point of forgetting.”
— Yann Martel

164. “How do you live with evil? Art is traditionally – certainly with my secular background – the answer, but art is very self-referential, whereas religion claims to go beyond the bounds of human existence.”
— Yann Martel

165. “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.”
— Yann Martel

166. “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.”
— Yann Martel

167. “If you don’t let technology help you, if you resist good ideas, you condemn yourself to dinosaurhood.”
— Yann Martel

168. “I blinked deliberately, expecting my eyelids to act like lumberjacks. But the trees would not fall.”
— Yann Martel

169. “I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent.”
— Yann Martel

170. “Then Richard Parker, companion of my torment, awful, fierce thing that kept me alive, moved forward and disappeared forever from my life.”
— Yann Martel

171. “I go to mass every Sunday, but love going to mosques too. Muslims pray in a beautiful way.”
— Yann Martel

172. “I explore it now in the only place left for it, my memory.”
— Yann Martel

173. “For example – I wonder – could you tell my jumbled story in exactly one hundred chapters, not one more, not one less? I’ll tell you, that’s one thing I hate about my nickname, the way that number runs on forever. It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go.”
— Yann Martel

174. “Love is a house with an unshakable foundation and an indestructible roof.”
— Yann Martel

175. “There are animals we haven’t stopped by. Don’t think they’re harmless. Life will defend itself no matter how small it is.”
— Yann Martel

176. “I’ll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for a while.”
— Yann Martel

177. “This was all a bit much for me. The tone was right – loving and brave – but the details seemed bleak. I said nothing. It wasn’t for fear of angering Mr. Kumar. I was more afraid that in a few words thrown out he might destroy something that I loved. What if his words had the effect of polio on me? What a terrible disease that must be if it could kill God in a man.”
— Yann Martel

178. “The idea of a flip book still really appeals to me. That idea of fiction and non-fiction.”
— Yann Martel

179. “Christianity stretches back through the ages, but in essence it exists only at one time: right now.”
— Yann Martel

180. “Zoo is an artificial territory, an approximation. Civilization is our natural territory.”
— Yann Martel

181. “Just as art brings you to another place, so does religion – and to ask questions of factuality tends to reduce both. If you say you were inspired by a novel, that implies that your book is a work of fiction.”
— Yann Martel

182. “How true is that necessity is the mother of invention, how very true.”
— Yann Martel

183. “Mr. Piscine Molitor Patel, Indian citizen, is an astounding story of courage and endurance in the face of extraordinarily difficult and tragic circumstances. In the experience of this investigator, his story is unparalleled in the history of shipwrecks. Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.”
— Yann Martel

184. “Oncoming death is terrible enough, but worse still is oncoming death with time to spare, time in which all the happiness that was yours and all the happiness that might have been yours becomes clear to you. You see with utter lucidity all that you are losing.”
— Yann Martel

185. “The sad fact is there are no natural deaths, despite what doctors say. Every death is felt by someone as a murder, the unjust taking of a loved being. And even the luckiest of us will encounter at least one murder in our own lives: our own. It is our fate. We all live a murder mystery of which we are the victim.”
— Yann Martel

186. “Mockery be damned, my urine looked delicious.”
— Yann Martel

187. “Sitting in an office for TOO long is not natural, perhaps, so that’s why we should change it. I didn’t say that out-and-out capitalism, which reduces humanity to dollar figures, is natural.”
— Yann Martel

188. “My ears were full. Nothing more, not one more sound, could push into them and be registered.”
— Yann Martel

189. “Why can we throw a question further than we can pull in an answer?”
— Yann Martel

190. “Time is an illusion that makes us all pant.”
— Yann Martel

191. “I would nearly go into convulsions of dismay at my stupidity.”
— Yann Martel

192. “It was a huge zoo, spread over numberless acres, big enough to require a train to explore it, though it seemed to get smaler as I grew older, train included. Now it’s so small it fits in my head.”
— Yann Martel

193. “If you took the city of Tokyo and turned it upside down and shook it you would be amazed at the animals that fall out: badgers, wolves, boa constrictors, crocodiles, ostriches, baboons, capybaras, wild boars, leopards, manatees, ruminants, in untold numbers. There is no doubt in my mind that that feral giraffes and feral hippos have been living in Tokyo for generations without seeing a soul.”
— Yann Martel

194. “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.”
— Yann Martel

195. “In art, something comes of nothing. Out of the thin air and the ether, you create a story. And that is intensely satisfying.”
— Yann Martel

196. “We were, literally and figuratively, in the same boat.”
— Yann Martel

197. “But once a dead God, always a dead God, even resurrected. The Son must have the taste of death forever in his mouth. The Trinity must be tainted by it; there must be a certain stench at the right hand of God the Father. The horror must be real. Why would God wish that upon Himself? Why not leave death to mortals? Why make dirty what is beautiful, spoil what is perfect? – Love. That was his answer.”
— Yann Martel

198. “To me, the research is a way of exploring what it means to be alive.”
— Yann Martel

199. “It’s not atheists who get stuck in my caw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for a while. We all must pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we… But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as means of transportation.”
— Yann Martel

200. “I think art comes from some sense of discomfort with the world, some sense of not quite fitting with it.”
— Yann Martel

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