Yann Martel Quotes

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.

Don’t worry about being good…. Aspire to be authentic.

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

Religion is more than rite and ritual.

I can only tell my story, what you believe is up to you.

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.

The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar.

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.

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.

…if you fall into a lion’s pit, the reason the lion will tear you to pieces is not because it’s hungry-be assured, zoo animals are amply fed-or because it’s bloodthirsty, but because you’ve invaded it’s territory.

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

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?

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.

 

There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God… These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside.

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.

The presence of God is the finest of rewards.

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

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.

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 everyday. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen.

I’ve never forgotten him. 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. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart.

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.

I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it. It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion.

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.

Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater.

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.