Quotes from Life of Pi

Yann Martel ·  460 pages

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“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, quote from Life of Pi


“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


“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 unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. 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, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“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. ”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For 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, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“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.

I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


“The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't 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, quote from Life of Pi


“Life will defend itself no matter how small it is.”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“What a terrible thing it is to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape. 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 have about my nickname, the way the number runs on forever. 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. That bungled goodbye hurts me to this day. I wish so much that I'd had one last look at him in the lifeboat, that I'd provoked him a little, so that I was on his mind. I wish I had said to him then - yes, I know, to a tiger, but still - I wish I had said, "Richard Parker, it's over. We have survived. Can you believe it? I owe you more gratitude than I can express I couldn't have done it without you. I would like to say it formally: Richard Parker, thank you. Thank you for saving my life. And now go where you must. You have known the confined freedom of a zoo most of your life; now you will know the free confinement of a jungle. I wish you all the best with it. Watch out for Man. He is not your friend. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you , that is certain. You will always be with me, in my heart. What is that hiss? Ah, our boat has touched sand. So farewell, Richard Parker, farewell. God be with you.”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“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, quote from Life of Pi


“The presence of God is the finest of rewards.”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


“Misery loves company, and madness calls it forth.”
― Yann Martel, quote from Life of Pi


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About the author

Yann Martel
Born place: in Salamanca, Spain
Born date June 25, 1963
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