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Yann Martel Quotes

26 of the best book quotes from Yann Martel
  1. #1
    “I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.”
  2. #2
    “I wept like a child. It was not because I was overcome at having survived my ordeal, though I was. Nor was it the presence of my brothers and sisters, though that too was very moving. I was weeping because Richard Parker had left me so unceremoniously.”
  3. #3
    “I could not abandon Richard Parker. To leave him would mean to kill him. He would not survive the first night.”
  4. #4
    “It came as an unmistakable indication to me of how low I had sunk the day I noticed, with a pinching of the heart, that I ate like an animal, that this noisy, frantic, unchewing wolfing-down of mine was exactly the way Richard Parker ate.”
  5. #5
    “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.”
  6. #6
    “When your own life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a terrible, selfish hunger for survival.”
  7. #7
    “So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer?”
  8. #8
    “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?”
  9. #9
    “Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love—but sometimes it was so hard to love.”
  10. #10
    “It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith, and every word they speak speaks of faith.”
  11. #11
    “Life on a lifeboat isn’t much of a life. It is like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn’t be more simple, nor the stakes higher.”
  12. #12
    ″[W]ithout Richard Parker, I wouldn’t be alive today to tell you my story.”
  13. #13
    “Something in me did not want to give up on life, was unwilling to let go, wanted to fight to the very end. Where that part of me got the heart, I don’t know.”
  14. #14
    “Yes. The story with animals is the better story.”
  15. #15
    “And so it goes with God.”
  16. #16
    ″[T]o think that I’m a strict vegetarian. To think that when I was a child I always shuddered when I snapped open a banana because it sounded to me like the breaking of an animal’s neck. I descended to a level of savagery I never imagined possible.”
  17. #17
    “With the very first rays of light it came alive in me: hope. As things emerged in outline and filled with colour, hope increased until it was like a song in my heart. Oh, what it was to bask in it! Things would work out yet. The worst was over. I had survived the night.”
  18. #18
    “The display of ferocity, of savage courage, made me realize that I was wrong. All my life I had known only a part of her.”
  19. #19
    “Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway’s worst mistake is to hope too much and do too little.”
  20. #20
    “The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar.”
  21. #21
    “Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen.”
  22. #22
    “And so, in that Greek letter that looks like a shack with a corrugated tin roof, in that elusive, irrational number with which scientists try to understand the universe, I found refuge.”
  23. #23
    “I had no idea a living being could sustain so much injury and go on living.”
  24. #24
    “That’s what fiction is about, isn’t it, the selective transforming of reality? The twisting of it to bring out the essence?”
  25. #25
    “You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did.”
  26. #26
    “I can well imagine an atheist’s last words: ‘White, white! L-L-Love! My God!‘—and the deathbed leap of faith. Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, ‘Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain,’ and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story.
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