Quotes by: Paul Auster

Paul Auster
Auster at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival
Born Paul Benjamin Auster
(1947-02-03) February 3, 1947 (age 69)
Newark, New Jersey, United States
Pen name Paul Queen[1] Paul Benjamin
Occupation Novelist and poet
Nationality American
Period 1974–present
Genre Absurdist fiction, crime fiction, mystery fiction
Literary movement Postmodernism
Lydia Davis (1974–1977; divorced; 1 child) Siri Hustvedt (1981–present; 1 child)

All through my writing life, I've had this impulse to write autobiographical works.
Paul Auster
What used to keep me up at night was the fact that I didn't know how I was going to pay the rent. Now that I can pay the rent, I'm worrying about people I care about, you know, the people I love. The little aches and pains of my children that I, my family. That's always first.
Paul Auster
People who don't like my work say that the connections seem too arbitrary. But that's how life is.
Paul Auster
Changing your mind is probably one of the most beautiful things people can do. And I've changed my mind about a lot of things over the years.
Paul Auster
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.
Paul Auster
Writing makes you feel that there is a reason to go on living. If I couldn't write, I would stop breathing.
Paul Auster
We grow older, but we do not change. We become more sophisticated, but at bottom we continue to resemble our young selves, eager to listen to the next story and the next, and the next.
Paul Auster
For some reason, all my characters come to me with their names attached to them. I never have to search for the names.
Paul Auster
Baseball is a universe as large as life itself, and therefore all things in life, whether good or bad, whether tragic or comic, fall within its domain.
Paul Auster
I can never say 'why' about anything I do. I suppose I can say 'how' and 'when' and 'what.' But 'why' is impenetrable to me.
Paul Auster
Some things get written more quickly than others, but I can't really measure degrees of difficulty.
Paul Auster
Holes in the memory. You grab on to some things, others have completely disappeared.
Paul Auster
The world is so unpredictable. Things happen suddenly, unexpectedly. We want to feel we are in control of our own existence. In some ways we are, in some ways we're not. We are ruled by the forces of chance and coincidence.
Paul Auster
When I write, the story is always uppermost in my mind, and I feel that everything must be sacrificed to it. All elegant passages, all the curious details, all the so-called beautiful writing - if they are not truly relevant to what I am trying to say, then they have to go.
Paul Auster
Some like to think that a keen appreciation of art can actually make us better people - more just, more moral, more sensitive, more understanding. Perhaps that is true - in certain rare, isolated cases.
Paul Auster
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.
Paul Auster
People look at the same passage, and one person will say this is the best thing he's ever read, and another person will say it's absolutely idiotic. I mean, there's no way to reconcile those two things. You just have to forget the whole business of what people are saying.
Paul Auster
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.
Paul Auster
Stories surge up out of nowhere, and if they feel compelling, you follow them. You let them unfold inside you and see where they are going to lead.
Paul Auster
I really, truly believe that writing comes out of the body; of course, the mind is working as well, but it's a double thing and that doubleness is united. I mean, you can't separate persona from psyche; you just can't do it.
Paul Auster
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.
Paul Auster
I guess the toughest things in translations are word play, which can never be reproduced exactly.
Paul Auster

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