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Paul Auster Quotes
- Page 4
I'm generous. I give good tips. It's just - the way I live my life, ironically enough, is: I don't want anything. I'm not a consumer. I don't crave objects.
I've never been able to witness the birth of an idea. It seems as if one second, there's nothing particularly going on, and the next second, something is there. It's coming up out of my unconscious, up from places that I don't even know where they are.
Movies are not novels, and that's why, when filmmakers try to adapt novels, particularly long or complex novels, the result is almost always failure. It can't be done.
No book includes the entire world. It's limited. And so it doesn't seem like an aesthetic compromise to have to do that. There's so much other material to write about.
Writing is such a strange, utterly mysterious process. First, there was nothing; then, suddenly, there was something. I don't know where thoughts are born. Where the hell does it come from? I don't know. I really don't know.
You see the film, you might be entertained, and if it's not a great film, it loses its power very quickly. I think even simply acceptable books stay with us a lot longer.
History is present in all my novels. And whether I am directly talking about the sociological moment or just immersing my character in the environment, I am very aware of it.
I believe that the whole idea of the consumer society is tottering. We've kept ourselves going by producing more and more goods, most of which people don't need. I'm anti-consumerism; I own four pairs of black Levis and that's it.
I don't think of myself as a metafictional writer at all. I think of myself as a classic writer, a realist writer, who tends to have flights of fancy at times, but nevertheless, my feet are mostly on the ground.
I don't think that you can be prescriptive about anything, I mean, life is too complicated. Maybe there are novels where the author has not in the least thought about it in terms of film, which can be turned into good films.
I knew from the age of 16 that I wanted to be a writer because I just didn't think I could do anything else. So I read and read and wrote short stories and dreamed of escape.
I was always very curious as a young man about why older writers who I met seemed so indifferent to what was going on, whereas I, in my 20s, was reading everything. Everything seemed important. But they were only interested in the writers they admired when they were young, and I didn't understand it then, but now, now I understand it.
I woke up one day and thought: 'I want to write a book about the history of my body.' I could justify talking about my mother because it was in her body that my body began.
I'm really trying to dredge up what one might call intellectual and moral material. For example, when do you realize that you are an American? What age does that happen to you? When do you realize what religion your parents practice? When does it all become conscious? I was interested in exploring all of that.
The book that convinced me I wanted to be a writer was 'Crime and Punishment'. I put the thing down after reading it in a fever over two or three days... I said, 'If this is what a book can be, then that is what I want to do.'
Human beings need stories, and we're looking for them in all kinds of places; whether it's television, whether it's comic books or movies, radio plays, whatever form, people are hungry for stories.
In my studio, it is unkempt and unattractive. Once I'm in my work, I don't notice where I am.
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Image of the Moment
Henry David Thoreau
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