Paul Auster quotes

  • Novels are fictions and therefore they tell lies, but through those lies every novelist attempts to tell the truth about the world.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Lying #World #Novelists

  • The funny thing is that I feel close to all my characters. Deep, deep inside them all. I can't describe how deeply I love them all.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Character #Funny Things #Feels

  • There's hope for everyone. That's what makes the world go round.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Reality #World

  • The most challenging project I've ever done, I think, is every single thing I've ever tried to do. It's never easy.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Thinking #Challenges #Done

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Beautiful #Reading #Choices

  • You can't ever approach a book as a complete virgin, certainly not if you're a critic. There is a lot of bad faith out there. That's why I finally trained myself not to look at this stuff anymore, because it doesn't do me any good to see myself either praised or attacked.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Book #Stuff #Looks

  • I had jumped off the edge, and then, at the very last moment, something reached out and caught me in midair. That something is what I define as love. It is the one thing that can stop a man from falling, powerful enough to negate the laws of gravity.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Powerful #Fall #Men

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Honesty #People #Resentment

  • Stories only happen to those who are able to tell them.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Stories #Able

  • I think human beings wouldn't be human without narrative fiction.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Thinking #Fiction #Narrative

  • One should never underestimate the power of books.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Book #Underestimate #Should

  • All my novels are very much directly related to my inner life, even though I'm inventing characters, even though it's fiction, even though it's make-believe, it nevertheless is coming out of the deepest recesses of myself.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Believe #Character #Fiction

  • I've dealt with numbers all my life, of course, and after a while you begin to feel that each number has a personality of its own. A twelve is very different from a thirteen, for example. Twelve is upright, conscientious, intelligent, whereas thirteen is a loner, a shady character who won't think twice about breaking the law to get what he wants. Eleven is tough, an outdoorsman who likes tramping through woods and scaling mountains; ten is rather simpleminded, a bland figure who always does what he's told; nine is deep and mystical, a Buddha of contemplation....
    -- Paul Auster

    #Character #Intelligent #Thinking

  • We hear things, but we can't always see them, or, even if we do see them, we're not sure that we're seeing correctly. Hence: Invisible.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Invisible #Not Sure

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Book #Writing #Humanity

  • While I was writing poems, I would often divert myself by reading detective novels, I liked them. And there was a period when I read many of them. I absorbed the form, and I liked it, it was a good one, mostly the hard-boiled school, you know, Chandler, Hammett, and their heirs. That was the direction that interested me most.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Reading #School #Writing

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

    #Always Be Happy

  • Every historical moment needs the stories to be told about it.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Historical #Needs #Stories

  • For the first time in his life, he stopped worrying about results, and as a consequence the terms “success” and “failure” had suddenly lost their meaning for him. The true purpose of art was not to create beautiful objects, he discovered. It was a method of understanding, a way of penetrating the world and finding one’s place in it, and whatever aesthetic qualities an individual canvas might have were almost an incidental by-product of the effort to engage oneself in this struggle, to enter into the thick of things.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Beautiful #Art #Struggle

  • I guess the important thing for young writers is to read.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Important #Young

  • The story is not in the words; it's in the struggle.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Struggle #Stories

  • Don't be a writer, it's a terrible way to live your life, there's nothing to be gained from it but poverty and obscurity and solitude. So if you have a taste for all those things, which means that you really are burning to do it, then go ahead and do it.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Mean #Solitude #Live Your Life

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

    #Science #Discovery #Weight

  • It's like a mathematical law, Grace.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Science #Law #Grace

  • No one was to blame for what happened, but that does not make it any less difficult to accept. It was all a matter of missed connections, bad timing, blundering in the dark. We were always in the right place at the wrong time, the wrong place at the right time, always just missing each other, always just a few inches from figuring the whole thing out. That's what the story boils down to, I think. A series of lost chances. All the pieces were there from the beginning, but no one knew how to put them together.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Dark #Thinking #Missing

  • We are left with nothing but death, the irreducible fact of our own mortality. Death after a long illness we can accept with resignation. Even accidental death we can ascribe to fate. But for a man to die of no apparent cause, for a man to die simply because he is a man, brings us so close to the invisible boundary between life and death that we no longer know which side we are on. Life becomes death, and it is as if this death has owned this life all along. Death without warning. Which is to say: life stops. And it can stop at any moment.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Fate #Men #Life And Death

  • I'm not a man deeply interested in technology. It eludes me. I confess I don't even have a computer, I don't have a cell phone.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Technology #Men #Cells

  • Writing begins in the body, it is the music of the body, and even if the words have meaning, can sometimes have meaning, the music of the words is where the meanings begin....Writing as a lesser form of dance.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Writing #Body #Sometimes

  • You think it will never happen to you, that it cannot happen to you, that you are the only person in the world to whom none of these things will ever happen, and then, one by one, they all begin to happen to you, in the same way they happen to everyone else.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Thinking #World #Way

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

    #Men #Knowing #Self

  • I walk around the world like a ghost, and sometimes I question whether I even exist. Whether I've ever existed at all.
    -- Paul Auster

    #World #Ghost #Sometimes

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Falling In Love #Confusion #Quality

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Purpose #Facts #Events

  • 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
    -- Paul Auster

    #Book #Men #Years

  • Our lives don't really belong to us, you see -- they belong to the world, and in spite of our efforts to make sense of it, the world is a place beyond our understanding.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Effort #Understanding #World

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Hero #Shadow #Culture

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Memories #Moving #Writing

  • Changing your mind is probably one of the most beautiful things people can do. And I've changed my mind about a lot of things over the years.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Beautiful #Years #People

  • You're too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Crush #World #This World

  • The truth of the story lies in the details.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Lying #Details #Stories

  • If you're not ready for everything, you're not ready for anything.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Ready #Not Ready

  • It always stimulates me to discover new examples of my own prejudice and stupidity, to realize that I don't know half as much as I think I do.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Thinking #Stupidity #Prejudice

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Real #Moon #Library

  • We are all aliens to ourselves, and if we have any sense of who we are, it is only because we live inside the eyes of others.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Eye #Who We Are #Aliens

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

    #Boys #Littles #Strange

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Night #Voice #Numbers

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Simple #Goes On #Opaque

  • 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.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Reality #People #Personality

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

    #Believe #Miracle #Want

  • I think that's what turns young men and women into writers - the happiness you discover living in books.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Book #Writing #Men

  • Surely it is an odd way to spend your life - sitting alone in a room with a pen in your hand, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, struggling to put words on pieces of paper in order to give birth to what does not exist, except in your head. Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing? The only answer I have ever been able to come up with is: because you have to, because you have no choice.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Struggle #Writing #Hands

  • Memory is the space in which a thing happens for a second time.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Memories #Space #Things Happen

  • I've been trying to fit everything in, trying to get to the end before it's too late, but I see now how badly I've deceived myself. Words do not allow such things. The closer you come to the end, the more there is to say. The end is only imaginary, a destination you invent to keep yourself going, but a point comes when you realize you will never get there. You might have to stop, but that is only because you have run out of time. You stop, but that does not mean you have come to an end.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Running #Mean #Trying

  • Writing is a solitary business. It takes over your life. In some sense, a writer has no life of his own. Even when he’s there, he’s not really there.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Writing #Solitary

  • Everything can change at any moment, suddenly and forever.
    -- Paul Auster

    #Reality #Forever #Moments

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

    #Sky #Feet