Paul Theroux Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Paul Theroux Quotes

#1. Maine is a joy in the summer. But the soul of Maine is more apparent in the winter. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#2. I have always felt that the truth is prophetic, and that if you describe precisely what you see and give it life with your imagination, then what you write ought to have lasting value, no matter what the mood of your prose. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#3. The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown.. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#4. A novel captures essence that is not possible in any other form. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#5. There's books that are about places we will never go, and then there's books that inspire us to go. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#6. Love doesn't last. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#7. The job of the travel writer is to go far and wide, to make voluminous notes, to tell the truth. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#8. I don't look down on tourism. I live in Hawaii where we have 7 million visitors a year. If they weren't there, there would be no economy. So I understand why a tourist economy is necessary. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#9. There are few things more abrasive to the human spirit, even in Patagonia, than someone standing behind you chomping and sucking ice cubes. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#10. Reading made me a traveler; travel sent me back to books. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#11. One of the cardinal principles of Buddhism, the principle of neglect. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#12. Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living your life - Author: Paul Theroux
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#13. Ambassador Noyes had another trait I had noticed in many slow-witted people: he was tremendously interested in philosophy. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#14. I decided that travel was flight and pursuit in equal parts, - Author: Paul Theroux
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#15. just a short trip to any French territory in the Pacific is enough to convince even the most casual observer that the French are among the most self-serving, manipulative, trivial-minded, obnoxious, cynical, and corrupting nations on the face of the earth. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#16. Writing is pretty crummy on the nerves. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#17. In the best travel books the word alone is implied on every exciting page, as subtle and ineradicable as a watermark. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#18. My earliest thought, long before I was in high school, was just to go away, get out of my house, get out of my city. I went to Medford High School, but even in grade school and junior high, I fantasized about leaving. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#19. It is usually expensive and lonely to be principled. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#20. Many aspects of the writing life have changed since I published my first book, in the 1960s. It is more corporate, more driven by profits and marketing, and generally less congenial - but my day is the same: get out of bed, procrastinate, sit down at my desk, try to write something. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#21. I want to know the age. The sex. Most of all, the fingerprints. I'd like to identify who it is.
After he had agreed, and I had left the office, walking to calm myself, I thought: And who am I? Please tell me who I am and what I'm doing. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#22. Fiction writing, and the reading of it, and book buying, have always been the activities of a tiny minority of people, even in the most-literate societies. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#23. Painters paint outdoors, or in rooms full of people; they paint their lovers, alone, naked; they paint and eat; they paint and listen to the radio. It is a soothing way of doing your job. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#24. Death rephrases the life of everyone who's near. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#25. But, truly, the worst trains take one across the best landscapes. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#26. I added that it was no fun to grow old, but that the compensation for it was that time turned your mental shit-detector into a highly calibrated instrument. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#27. Tourists who go to Africa have more of a traditional experience than Africans do. A tourist goes on safari; Africans don't. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#28. When I'm writing, I like to travel alone. If you really want to find out about a place, you need to be as free as possible to be spontaneous. You also need to be lonely, because loneliness is a great teacher, too. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#29. I think I am typical in believing that the Peace Corps trained us brilliantly and then did little more except send us into the bush. It was not a bad way of running things. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#30. Many small towns I know in Maine are as tight-knit and interdependent as those I associate with rural communities in India or China; with deep roots and old loyalties, skeptical of authority, they are proud and inflexibly territorial. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#31. The happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance is not the works of Shakespeare (as Buck Mulligan says) but the Holy Bible. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#32. I think people read travel books either because they intend to take that trip, or because they would never take that trip. In a sense, as a writer you are doing the travel for the reader. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#33. Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? "She drove me to my practice at four in the morning," etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. My advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#34. Japan, Germany, and India seem to me to have serious writers, readers, and book buyers, but the Netherlands has struck me as the most robust literary culture in the world. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#35. As for the sanctimony of people who seem blind to the fact that mass murder is still an annual event, look at Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, Tibet, Burma and elsewhere-the truer shout is not "Never again" but "Again and again. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#36. I should start by saying that traveling in the States is a bit like traveling in Asia. You need it, it helps to have an introduction - that there is a certain network. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#37. An island is a fixed and finite piece of geography, and usually the whole place has been carved up and claimed. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#38. A national crisis, a political convulsion, is an opportunity, a gift to the traveler. Nothing is more revealing of a place to a stranger than trouble. Even if a crisis is incomprehensible, as it usually is, it lends drama to the day and transforms the traveler into an eye witness. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#39. The sad engineer would never go back to England; he would become one of these elderly expatriates who hide out in remote countries, with odd sympathies, a weakness for the local religion, an unreasonable anger, and the kind of total recall that drives curious strangers away. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#40. A gun show is about like-minded people who feel as if everything has been taken away from them - jobs, money, pride. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#41. I've never spent a whole year in one place without leaving. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#42. It is almost axiomatic that the worst trains take you through magical places. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#43. Even if I were traveling with you, your trip would not be mine. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#44. But art should require no instrument but memory. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#45. Friendship is also about liking a person for their failings, their weakness. It's also about mutual help, not about exploitation. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#46. I'm not pessimistic about Africa. The cities just seem big and hopeless. But there's still a great green heart where there's possibility. There's hope in the wilderness. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#47. No light; but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace And rest can never dwell; hope never comes That comes to all; but torture without end . . . - Author: Paul Theroux
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#48. Travel is a vanishing act, a solitary trip down a pinched line of geography to oblivion. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#49. The Trans-Siberian Express is like a cruise across an oceanic landscape. I've done it three times. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#50. And that is all anyone can do, try to be honest about what he feels, what he's seen or thinks he's seen. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#51. Borges, who said, Defeat has a dignity which noisy victory does not deserve. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#52. You need to be on your own so that you can meet people as you are, and as they are. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#53. My house is a place I have spent many years improving to the point where I have no desire to leave it. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#54. The worst thing that can happen to you in travel is having a gun pointed at you by a very young person. That's happened to me maybe four times in my life. I didn't like it. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#55. You can't want to be a writer. You have to be one. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#56. Eating together is an occasion that humans have made into a peacemaking ritual; - Author: Paul Theroux
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#57. All serious travelers arrive at this doubting, why-bother juncture, stalling on the road, sometime or other. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#58. Whenever an art form - music, book, drama, song - is dragged into the seminar rooms, it is finished as a force. Nothing is more deadly than the anatomizing of scholarship, since the study of art, any art - even the obscene, semiliterate yawp and grunt of rap - drains the life from it. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#59. The greatest justification for travel is not self-improvement but rather performing a vanishing act, disappearing without a trace. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#60. Travel is only glamorous in retrospect. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#61. People talk about the pain of writing, but very few people talk about the pleasure and satisfaction. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#62. Reading is also a journey. It's a process of discovery. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#63. Writing was in my mind from the time I was in high school, but more, the idea that I would be a doctor. I really wanted to be a medical doctor, and I had various schemes: one was to be a psychiatrist, another was tropical medicine. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#64. Men in their late 50s often make very bad decisions. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#65. Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Albert Camus, Graham Greene - they influenced my life to a profound extent. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#66. You can't separate the people from the places - although I sometimes like traveling in places where there are no people. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#67. Solitary people make the best travellers - Author: Paul Theroux
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#68. Sightseeing, an activity that delights the truly idle because it seems so much like scholarship, gawping and eavesdropping on antiquity, flattering oneself with the notion that one is discovering the past when really one is inventing it, using a guidebook as a scenario of swift notations. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#69. The lust of the eye. The best photographs were, to me, like an experience of drowning. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#70. If you're a misanthrope you stay at home. There are certain writers who really don't like other people. I'm not like that, I don't think. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#71. The measure of civilized behavior is compassion. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#72. The saddest task for the ironist is having to tell the listener that it's a joke, because of course it is never a joke. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#73. .. and I began to think that the strictures of Islam would quickly make me a fancier of the margins of anatomy, thrilling at especially trim ankles, seeking a wink behind a veil, or watching for a response in the shoulders of one of those shrouded forms. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#74. He regarded himself as an accomplished writer - a clear sign of madness in anyone. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#75. Travel is an attitude, a state of mind. It is not residence, it is motion. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#76. A reader meeting another reader is an encounter of kindred spirits. The pleasure of such a joyous event is impossible to describe to a nonreader, and why would I bother? But you, with this book in your hand, are familiar with the phenomenon, and so it is not necessary. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#77. Time is a factor in travel, one of the most crucial. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#78. Most people on earth are poor. Most places are blighted and nothing will stop the blight getting worse. Travel gives you glimpses of the past and the future, your own and other people's. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#79. I'm constantly running across people who have never heard of books I think they should read. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#80. I hate vacations. I hate them. I have no fun on them. I get nothing done. People sit and relax, but I don't want to relax. I want to see something. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#81. Nyasaland was the perfect country for a volunteer. It was friendly and destitute; it was small and out-of-the-way. It had all of Africa's problems - poverty, ignorance, disease. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#82. Travel works best when you're forced to come to terms with the place you're in. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#83. You think of travellers as bold, but our guilty secret is that travel is one of the laziest ways on earth of passing the time. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#84. Fiction gives us the second chance that life denies us. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#85. Fogeydom is the last bastion of the bore and reminiscence is its anthem. It is futile to want the old days back, but that doesn't mean one should ignore the lessons of the visitable past. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#86. A person who is tired of London is not necessarily tired of life; it might be that he just can't find a parking place. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#87. Listen, stranger; this was myself: this was I. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#88. Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#89. The monotony of staying in one place is the best thing for writing a novel. Having regular habits, a kind of security, but especially no big surprises, no shocks. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#90. The biggest surprise was that a country like Angola, that has so much money, that produces so much oil, would be in such a mess and so difficult to travel in. Something is almost cursed in striking oil. It's like the lottery winner who ends up broke. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#91. A train journey is travel; everything else - planes especially - is transfer, your journey beginning when the plane lands. - GRB - Author: Paul Theroux
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#92. You define a good flight by negatives: you didn't get hijacked, you didn't crash, you didn't throw up, you weren't late, you weren't nauseated by the food. So you are grateful. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#93. I know there are writers who feel unhappy with domesticity and who even manufacture domestic turmoil in order to have something to write about. With me, though, the happier I feel, the better I write. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#94. Indian enterprises seemed to work so well they produced disasters; success made them burst at the seams and the disruption of unprecedented orders led to shortages and finally failure. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#95. I am happy being what I am. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#96. Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#97. Literary life used to be quite different in Britain in the years I lived there, from 1971 to 1989, because money was not a factor - no one made very much except from U.S. sales and the occasional windfall. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#98. Last days? Don't they know? These are the traits of all days, every day, everywhere. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#99. Movable type seemed magical to the monks who were illuminating manuscripts and copying texts. Certainly e-books seem magical to me. - Author: Paul Theroux
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#100. Someone who seems doddery is perhaps not doddery at all but only an older person absorbed in squinting concentration, as though on an ultimate trip, memorizing a scene, grateful for being alive to see it. - Author: Paul Theroux
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