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 Paul Auster Quotes
10 Famous Quotes by Paul Auster
2/3/1947 - (Present)
Also Known As:  
Paul Benjamin Auster     Auster, Paul     Paul Benjamin
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About Paul Auster

I took a job with the U.S. Census Bureau. In The Locked Room, the third volume of the New York Trilogy, there's a sequence where the narrator talks about working for the census, and I took this straight from life. As in the book, I wound up inventing people. Kind of curious.

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I was always interested in French poetry sort of as a sideline to my own work, I was translating contemporary French poets. That kind of spilled out into translation as a way to earn money, pay for food and put bread on the table.

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In the mid-70s I wrote some plays, also, but it wasn't until the very late '70s when I ran into a real crisis on every level, personal, artistic, and I was absolutely broke, I'd run out of money and... hope, I guess, and I stopped writing altogether for awhile.

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All I wanted to do was write - at the time, poems, and prose, too. I guess my ambition was simply to make money however I could to keep myself going in some modest way, and I didn't need much, I was unmarried at the time, no children.

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The book is your book. You have been responsible for every single thing on every page, every comma, every syllable is your work.

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You have to protect it too, you can't let just any stupid person take it and do something demoralizing with it. At the same time, I don't believe in being so rigid about controlling what happens either.

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I don't judge these things by numbers. How many people read 'Paradise Lost' when it was published? Two hundred? Three? As long as there's one reader, the book is doing what a book does. Books are irreplaceable, because they're the only place in the universe where two strangers can meet on absolutely intimate terms. We need to tell stories as human beings. People are as hungry for that as they have ever been.

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You can't put your feet on the ground until you've touched the sky.

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We construct a narrative for ourselves, and that's the thread that we follow from one day to the next. People who disintegrate as personalities are the ones who lose that thread.

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And that's why books are never going to die. It's impossible. It's the only time we really go into the mind of a stranger, and we find our common humanity doing this. So the book doesn't only belong to the writer, it belongs to the reader as well, and then together you make it what it is.

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