Top 100

Top 180 Paul Theroux Quotes (2024 Update)
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Paul Theroux Quote: “A foreign swear-word is practically inoffensive except to the person who has learnt it early in life and knows its social limits.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “The conversation, like many others I had with people on trains, derived an easy candour from the shared journey, the comfort of the dining car, and the certain knowledge that neither of us would see each other again.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Why do things get weaker and worse? Why don’t they get better? Because we accept that they fall apart! But they don’t have to – they could last forever. Why do things get more expensive? Any fool can see that they should get cheaper as technology gets more efficient. It’s despair to accept the senility of obsolescence...”
Paul Theroux Quote: “When I write about my childhood I think, oh my God, how did I ever get from there to here? Not that any great thing has happened to me. But I felt so tiny, so lost.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “The three biggest funerals in Alabama history define the state’s contending loyalties, I was told: George Wallace’s, Martin Luther King’s, and Bear Bryant’s.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “I’m not pessimistic about Africa. The cities just seem big and hopeless. But there’s still a great green heart where there’s possibility. There’s hope in the wilderness.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “People talk about the pain of writing, but very few people talk about the pleasure and satisfaction.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Railways are irresistible bazaars, snaking along perfectly level no matter what the landscape, improving your mood with speed, and never upsetting your drink.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Reading alters the appearance of a book. Once it has been read, it never looks the same again, and people leave their individual imprint on a book they have read. Once of the pleasures of reading is seeing this alteration on the pages, and the way, by reading it, you have made the book yours.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “When I began to make some money, I really wanted to have a home.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “All politicians, even the most idealistic ones, are looking for money, sucking up to rich people.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “The people of Hong Kong are criticized for only being interested in business, but it’s the only thing they’ve been allowed to do.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “There is no faster way of destroying a man, or mocking his ideas, than making him fashionable.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Many aspects of the writing life have changed since I published my first book, in the 1960s. It is more corporate, more driven by profits and marketing, and generally less congenial – but my day is the same: get out of bed, procrastinate, sit down at my desk, try to write something.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “It’s not fashionable but I like to spit out of the window of a moving train.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “When I went to Hong Kong, I knew at once I wanted to write a story set there.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Every country has the writers she requires and deserves, which is why Nicaragua, in two hundred years of literacy, has produced one writer-a mediocre poet.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “The Peace Corps is a sort of Howard Johnson’s on the main drag into maturity.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Delay and dirt are the realities of the most rewarding travel.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “The traveler’s boast, sometimes couched as a complaint, is that of having been an eyewitness, and invariably this experience – shocking though it may seem at the time – is an enrichment, even a blessing, one of the life-altering trophies of the road.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “The disorder in Yashar’s apartment was that comfortable littering and stacking that only another writer can recognize as order – the considered scatter of papers and books a writer builds around himself until it acquires the cozy solidity of a nest.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “But what I liked in Aberdeen was what I liked generally in Britain: the bread, the fish, the cheese, the flower gardens, the apples. the clouds, the newspapers, the beer, the wollen cloth, the radio programmes, the parks, the Indian restaurants and amateur dramatics, the postal service, the fresh vegetables, the trains, and the modesty and truthfulness of people.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Indian enterprises seemed to work so well they produced disasters; success made them burst at the seams and the disruption of unprecedented orders led to shortages and finally failure.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Extensive traveling induces a feeling of encapsulation, and travel, so broadening at first, contracts the mind.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “You can’t save the rhinos and you can’t preserve a culture. I’m very pessimistic. Once it’s gone, it’s over.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “To a lot of Africans, seeing an animal is a something of a rarity. So it’s a paradox of this sort of parallel life. A safari is an expensive experience and it’s adjacent to a place where people are having a very tough time.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “I’m constantly running across people who have never heard of books I think they should read.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Sometimes people read a book in order to not go on a trip. You read a book instead of going on the trip. And so the travel writer is doing the traveling for you.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Airplanes have dulled and desensitized us; we are encumbered, like lovers in a suit of armor.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Although I’m not fluent in sign language by a long way, I could have a fairly decent conversation.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “In the best travel books the word alone is implied on every exciting page, as subtle and ineradicable as a watermark.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “You think of travellers as bold, but our guilty secret is that travel is one of the laziest ways on earth of passing the time.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Travel books are all sorts – some are autobiographies, some are about falling in love. Some are about having great meals, some are about suffering. There are as many different kinds of travel books as there are novels. People think a travel book is one thing. It’s many things.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “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 Quote: “Nature is crooked. I wanted right angles and straight lines. Ice! Oh, why do they all drip? You cut yourself opening a can of tuna fish and you die. One puncture in your foot and your life leaks out through your toe. What are they for, moose antlers? Get down on all fours and live. You’re protected on your hands and knees. It’s either that or wings.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Loneliness in travel directs you and tells you about yourself. You don’t become lonely unless you’re alone.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “A reader meeting another reader is an encounter of kindred spirits. The pleasure of such a joyous event is impossible to describe to a nonreader, and why would I bother? But you, with this book in your hand, are familiar with the phenomenon, and so it is not necessary.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Travel is about failure or overcoming obstacles, overcoming failures. When a traveler is having lots of good luck, that is not a happy book. That’s a book you say, well, I don’t need that. I want a life lesson. I want to find out – I want a journey that reflects my life.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “There are two worlds: the world of the tourist and the world of everyone else. Often they’re side by side. But the tourist doesn’t actually see how people live.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “People who don’t read books a lot are threatened by books.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “I know there are writers who feel unhappy with domesticity and who even manufacture domestic turmoil in order to have something to write about. With me, though, the happier I feel, the better I write.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “In countries where all the crooked politicians wear pin-striped suits, the best people are bare-assed.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Writing is pretty crummy on the nerves.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “For years I felt that being respectable meant maintaining a sinister complacency, and the disreputable freedom I sought helped make me a writer.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Pain does not create a long-lasting memory, but the memory of luxury exerts itself for ever.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “The long morning shadows lay as still and dark as lakes and patterned the rough ground with straight margins.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “Someone who seems doddery is perhaps not doddery at all but only an older person absorbed in squinting concentration, as though on an ultimate trip, memorizing a scene, grateful for being alive to see it.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “There’s a lot of sensuality that I associate with travel. And that’s romance.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “My house is a place I have spent many years improving to the point where I have no desire to leave it.”
Paul Theroux Quote: “My greatest inspiration is memory.”
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