Fanatics do not have faith - they have belief. With faith you let go. You trust. Whereas with belief you cling.
Every book I've written has been a different attempt to understand something, and the success or failure of the previous one is irrelevant. I write the book I want.
Reality is how we interpret it. Imagination and volition play a part in that interpretation. Which means that all reality is to some extent a fiction.
The moral of a fable is eternal. The moral of a story is temporary to a story.
I'm not a consumer. I hate buying clothes. I don't have a mobile. I just don't need things. I don't like things.
Music moves me - duh - and that is like having a window opening on a heightened reality, but the effect is fleeting: When the music ends, the magic, the uplifting, vanishes and the window slams shut. Words, on the other hand, by the nature of how they work, emotions evoked by dint of carefully laid out thoughts, have a more lingering effect.
I think art comes from some sense of discomfort with the world, some sense of not quite fitting with it.
I'm looking at a dead event and trying to give it new life. In a sense, I'm a taxidermist.
A great literary work can be completely, completely unpredictable. Which can sometimes make them very hard to read, but it gives them a great originality.
Books are something social - a writer speaking to a reader - so I think making the reading of a book the center of a social event, the meeting of a book club, is a brilliant idea.
I love Canada. It's a wonderful political act of faith that exists atop a breathtakingly beautiful land.
In all big cities the style of life is the same. Same endless array of restaurants; same big museums with the usual suspects; same anonymity, which can be thrilling when you're young but which I found got tiresome.
Cinema is incredibly concise.
Cinema is visually powerful, it is a complete experience, reaches a different audience. It's something I really like. I like movies.
Any writer will be happy and good only if they know what they're doing and why they're doing it.
I can't live for more than four years outside of Canada. I'm Canadian, so ultimately that is my reference point.
Words are much better at relating emotions and thoughts.
If a film project were available and the timing was right, I might be interested.
Words aren't very good at describing complicated, strange visual things. You can try, and the reader will have some sort of image in their mind, but words aren't good at that.
I find that movies tend to fix the aesthetics of a story in people's minds.
A movie will do in one second, with one image, what it will take a novelist at least a page to describe.
I like using animals because they help suspend my reader's disbelief. We have certain ideas about dentists. We don't have many ideas about rhinoceros dentists.
I'm still learning my craft.
How do you live with evil? Art is traditionally - certainly with my secular background - the answer, but art is very self-referential, whereas religion claims to go beyond the bounds of human existence.
'Life of Pi' was actually a very simple novel to write.
If you write genre fiction, you follow the rules, and you have to follow them because readers expect that.
I write slowly.
I am not an autobiographical writer.
Most of us get our history through story.
My next book - each one while I'm working on it - dances in my mind and thrills me at every turn. If it didn't, why would I write it?
A movie is so visually powerful, so overwhelming, that it tends to crowd out how you might have imagined things.
The idea of a flip book still really appeals to me. That idea of fiction and non-fiction.
May books spread the world over!
I'm happy pretty well anywhere on this big, beautiful planet.
You can't quantify human pain the way you can measure out sugar. Death comes one individual at a time.
If I didn't have children, I think my life would be a failure.
The language of prose is very different than the language of cinema, so the movie has to successfully translate what was in the book.
It's true, too, that I'm tired of using books as political bullets and grenades. Books are too precious and wonderful to be used for long in such a fashion.