20+ quotes from The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster

Quotes from The Book of Illusions

Paul Auster ·  288 pages

Rating: (17.3K votes)


“We all want to believe in impossible things, I suppose, to persuade ourselves that miracles can happen.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“I was perfectly calm and perfectly insane, perfectly prepared to accept what the moment had offered. Indifference of that magnitude is rare and because it can be achieved only by someone ready to let go of who he is, it demands respect. It inspires awe in those who gaze upon it.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“What matters is not how well you can avoid trouble, but how you cope with trouble when it comes.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“The only person I knew how to be with now was myself - but I wasn´t really anyone, and I wasn´t really alive. I was just someone who pretended to be alive, a dead mean who spent his days translating a dead man´s book.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“He knew that his wings could ignite at any moment, but the closer he came to touching the fire, the more he sensed that he was fulfilling his destiny. As he put it in his journal that night: If I mean to save my life, then I have to come within an inch of destroying it.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“When every card in the deck is stacked against you, the only way to win a hand is to break the rules.
You beg, borrow, and steal, as the old adage goes, and if you happen to get caught in the act, at least you´ve gone down fighting the good fight.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“Imagine knowing that you're good at something, so good that the world would be in awe of you if they could see your work, and then keeping yourself a secret from the world.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“The world was full of holes, tiny apertures of meaninglessness, microscopic rifts that the mind could walk through, and once you were on the other side of one of those holes, you were free of yourself, free of your life free of your death, free of everything that belonged to you.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“What else we know?
Nothing. That´s why we´re sitting together in this car now. Because we´re the same, and because we don´t know a damn thing other than that.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“I was in the book, and the book was in my head, and as long as I stayed inside my head, I could go on writing the book. It was like living in a padded cell, but of all the lives I could have lived at that moment, it was the only one that made sense to me. I wasn't capable of being in the world, and I knew that if I tried to go back into it before I was ready, I would be crushed.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“To think one thought meant thinking the opposite thought, and no sooner did
that second thought destroy the first thought than a third thought rose up to
destroy the second.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“There was nothing to see, nothing to distract me from succumbing to my fears, and the longer I kept my eyes shut, the more terribly I saw my fears wanted me to see.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“I wasn't able to think about them directly or summon them up in any conscious way, but as I put together their puzzles and played with their Lego pieces, building evermore complex and baroque structures, I felt that I was temporarily inhabiting them again--carrying on their little phantom lives for them by repeating the gestures they had made when they still had bodies.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“Les moments de crise produsent un redoublement de vie chez les hommes.
Moments of crisis produce a redoubled vitality in men. Or, more succinctly perhaps: Men don't begin to live fully until thier backs are against the wall.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“A lot of film people are like that– especially the ones below the line, the blue-collar guys, the grunts. They like putting their hands on the equipment and getting it to do things for them. It's not about art or ideas. It's about working at something and making it come out right.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“It was one of the most sublimely exhilarating moments of my life. I was half a step in front of the real, an inch or two beyond the confines of my body, and when the thing happened just as I thought it would, I felt my skin had become transparent. I wasn't occupying space anymore so much as melting into it. What was around me was also inside me, and I had only to look into myself in order to see the world.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“He learned how to look at himself from a distance, to see himself first of all as a man among other men, then as a collection of random particles of matter, and finally as a single speck of dust—and the farther he traveled from his point of origin, she said, the closer he came to achieving greatness.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“It was filled with books. That was the first thing I noticed when I went in—how many books there were. Three of the four walls were lined with shelves from the floor to the ceiling, and every inch of those shelves was crammed with books. There were further clusters and piles of them on chairs and tables, on the rug, on the desk. Hardcovers and paperbacks, new books and old books”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“Expect the unexpected, they say, but once the unexpected happens, the last thing you expect is that it will happen again.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


“siete de enero de 1986 me tragué otras cuantas pastillas mágicas del doctor Singh y cogí un avión de San Francisco a Londres en vuelo directo: nueve mil kilómetros sin escala en el Catatonia Express. Esta vez era necesario aumentar la dosis, pero temiendo que no fuese suficiente, justo antes de subir al avión me tomé otra pastilla más. Debería haberme guardado mucho de no seguir las instrucciones del médico, pero la idea de despertarme en pleno vuelo me aterrorizaba tanto que a punto estuve de caer en el sueño eterno. En mi pasaporte viejo hay un sello que prueba que entré en Gran Bretaña el ocho de enero, pero no recuerdo nada del aterrizaje, de pasar por aduana ni de cómo llegué al hotel. Me desperté en una cama extraña el nueve de enero por la mañana, y ahí fue cuando mi vida empezó de nuevo. Nunca había perdido tan completamente la noción de mí mismo.”
― Paul Auster, quote from The Book of Illusions


About the author

Paul Auster
Born place: in Newark, New Jersey, The United States
Born date February 3, 1947
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"Okay, who then?" Impatient with his crap, the old Archie crap.

"It's you, Obie. You and Carter and Bunting and Leon and everybody. But especially you, Obie. Nobody forced you to do anything, buddy. Nobody made you join the Vigils. Nobody twisted your arm to make you secretary of the Vigils. Nobody pain you to keep a notebook with all that crap about the students, all their weaknesses, soft points. The notebook made your job easier, didn't it, Obie? And what was your job? Finding the victims. You found them, Obie. You found Renault and Tubs Casper and Gendreau-the first one, remember, when we were sophomores?-how you loved it all, didn't you Obie?" Archie flicked a finger against the metal of the car, and the ping was like a verbal exclamation mark. "Know what, Obie? You could have said no anytime, anytime at all. But you didn't...." Archie's voice was filled with contempt, and he pronounced Obie's name as if it were something to be flushed down a toilet.

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“I followed him up the stairs. I was a fornicator, of unnatural appetite, in thrall to an Atheist. I repeated the words in my head and tried to feel the shock of them, but they remained strange and cruel, far removed from Ferris and me. It was simpler to say I was in love.”
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“Behind every picture hides the true story. You just have to be willing to look.”
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“-Esta es la mejor autopsia de la historia -declaró Rook-. Hasta creo que me he meado un poco de la emoción. En serio”
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