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Paul Theroux Quotes

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If you look at a map, you see that Hawaii is in the middle of nowhere. It’s 17 hours of straight flying from London. It’s very far away, and sometimes you feel as if you’re on another planet. But I like that. Also, that’s ideal for writing.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) I was raised in a large family. The first reason for my travel was to get away from my family. I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t want people to ask me questions about it.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) Going slowly [...] was the best way of being reminded that there is a relationship between Here and There, and that travel narrative was the story of There and Back.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) A travel book is a book that puts you in the shoes of the traveler, and it’s usually a book about having a very bad time; having a miserable time, even better.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) 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.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) Dentists seem to me very orderly, businesslike people who appear to become somewhat bored with the routine of their work after a period of time. Perhaps I’m wrong.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The people I’ve known who’ve done great things of that type - you know, building hospitals, running schools - are very humble people. They give their lives to the project.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The idea of traveling in Africa for me is based on going by road or train or bus or whatever and crossing borders. You can’t travel easily or at all through some countries.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The greatest justification for travel is not self-improvement but rather performing a vanishing act, disappearing without a trace.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The travel impulse is mental and physical curiosity. It’s a passion. And I can’t understand people who don’t want to travel.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) People say writing is really hard. That’s very unfair to those who are doing real jobs. People who work in the fields or fix roofs, engineers, or car mechanics. I think lying on your back working under an oily car, that’s a job.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The moment that changed me for ever was the moment my first child was born. I was happy, filled with hope, and thought, ‘Now I understand the whole point of work, of life, of love.’  (Paul Theroux Quotes) You go away for a long time and return a different person - you never come all the way back  (Paul Theroux Quotes) I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person having a serious conversation on a cellphone. It’s like a kiddie thing, a complete time waster.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) 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.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The impulse to write comes, I think, from a desire - perhaps a need - to give imaginative life to experience, to share it with the reader, not to cover up the truth but to deliver it obliquely.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) A journey awakens all our old fears of danger and risk. Your life is on the line. You are living by your own resources; you have to find your own way and solve every problem on the road.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The long morning shadows lay as still and dark as lakes and patterned the rough ground with straight margins.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) What draws me in is that a trip is a leap in the dark. It’s like a metaphor for life. You set off from home, and in the classic travel book, you go to an unknown place. You discover a different world, and you discover yourself.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) If people are driving you around to look at animals, that’s wonderful. That’s educational, but it’s not necessarily enlightening and you’re not finding out much about yourself.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The two impulses in travel are to get away from home, and the other is to pursue something - a landscape, people, an exotic place. Certainly finding a place that you like or discovering something unusual is a very sustaining thing in travel.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) Travel is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with existence or the exotic. It is almost always an inner experience.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) I don’t think that it’s possible to have a truly rewarding experience in travel if it’s simple.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) It’s only when you’re alone that you realize where you are. You have nothing to fall back on except your own resources.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) The job of the travel writer is to go far and wide, to make voluminous notes, to tell the truth  (Paul Theroux Quotes) People see a hungry face, and they want to feed it; that’s a natural response  (Paul Theroux Quotes) Television cannot film corruption. Television cannot spend five days on a rattling railway train, talking endlessly. Television needs excitement, it needs an angle, it needs a ‘sound bite.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) Because of my capacity for listening to strangers’ tales, or the details of their lives, my patience with their food and their crotchets, my curiosity that borders on nosiness, I am told that anyone traveling with me experiences an unbelievable tedium, and this is why I choose to travel alone.  (Paul Theroux Quotes) You can’t write about a friend, you can only write about a former friend  (Paul Theroux Quotes)
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