Paul Auster

«The moon people do not eat by swallowing food but by smelling it. Their money is poetry - actual poems, written out on pieces of paper whose value is determined by the worth of the poem itself.»

Paul Auster


«I learned that books are never finished, that it is possible for stories to go on writing themselves without an author.»

Paul Auster


«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


«Our lives carry us along in ways we cannot control, and almost nothing stays with us. It dies when we do, and death is something that happens to us every day.»

Paul Auster


«it's a rare day when she speaks in anything but platitudes--all those exhausted phrases and hand-me-down ideas that cram the dump sites of contemporary wisdom»

Paul Auster


«The truth of the story lies in the details.»

Paul Auster


«Reason and memory are nearly always at odds.»

Paul Auster


«All children are love children, he said, but only the best ones are ever called that.»

Paul Auster


«Memory, therefore, not simply as the resurrection of one’s private past, but an immersion in the past of others, which is to say: history - which one both participates in and is a witness to, is a part of and apart from. Everything, therefore, is present in his mind at once, as if each element were reflecting the light of all the others, and at the same time emitting its own unique and unquenchable radiance.»

Paul Auster


«but even the facts do not always tell the truth»

Paul Auster


«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


«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


«You're too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.»

Paul Auster


«Novels are fictions and therefore they tell lies, but through those lies every novelist attempts to tell the truth about the world.»

Paul Auster


«It was. It will never be again. Remember.»

Paul Auster


«My French was neither good nor bad. I had enough to understand what people said to me, but speaking was difficult, and there were times when no words came to my lips, when I struggled to say even the simplest things. There was a certain pleasure in this, I believe – to experience language as a collection of sounds, to be forced to the surface of words where meanings vanish – but it was also quite wearing, and it had the effect of shutting me up in my thoughts.»

Paul Auster


«To care about words, to have a stake in what is written, to believe in the power of books - this overwhelms the rest, and beside it one's life becomes very small.»

Paul Auster


«The grinding search for money can crush the spirit out of you unless you're made of steel.»

Paul Auster


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

Paul Auster


«As long as a man had the courage to reject what society told him to do, he could live life on his own terms. To what end? To be free. But free to what end? To read books, to write books, to think.»

Paul Auster


«I would resurrect that person in words, and once the pages had been printed and the story had been bound between covers, they would have something to hold on to for the rest of their lives. Not only that, but something that would outlive them, that would outlive us all.»

Paul Auster


«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


«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


«I felt the taste of mortality in my mouth, and at that moment I understood that I was not going to live forever. It takes a long time to learn that, but when you finally do, everything changes inside you, you can never be the same again. I was seventeen years old, and all of a sudden, without the slightest flicker of a doubt, I understood that my life was my own, that it belonged to me and no one else.»

Paul Auster


«Quinn froze. There was nothing he could do now that would not be a mistake. Whatever choice he made--and he had to make a choice--would be arbitrary, a submission to chance. Uncertainty would haunt him to the end. At that moment, the two Stillmans started on their way again. The first turned right, the second turned left. Quin craved an amoeba's body, wanting to cut himself in half and run off in two directions at once. (Chapter 7)»

Paul Auster