Paul Theroux Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 95 quotes)
But: all journeys were return journeys. The farther one traveled, the nakeder one got, until, towards the end, ceasing to be animated by any scene, one was most oneself, a man in a bed surrounded by empty bottles. The man who says, "I've got a wife and kids" is far from home; at home he speaks of Japan. But he does not know - how could he? - that the scenes changing in the train window from Victoria Station to Tokyo Central are nothing compared to the change in himself; and travel writing, which cannot but be droll at the outset, moves from journalism to fiction, arriving promptly as the Kodama Echo at autobiography. From there any further travel makes a beeline to confession, the embarrassed monologue in a deserted bazaar. The anonymous hotel room in a strange city...
Connection" is the triumphal cry these days. Connection has made people arrogant, impatient, hasty, and presumptuous. ...I don't doubt that instant communication has been good for business, even for the publishing business, but it has done nothing for literature, and might even have harmed it. In many ways connection has been disastrous. We have confused information (of which there is too much) with ideas (of which there are too few). I found out much more about the world and myself by being unconnected.
When I left Africa in 1966 it seemed to me to be a place that was developing, going in a particular direction, and I don't think that is the case now. And it's a place where people still kid themselves - you know, in a few years this will happen or that will happen. Well, it's not going to happen. It's never going to happen.
I had cooperated. I could not have refused. I was smitten with her, half in love but also afraid, because in my life (and she seemed to know this) I had not loved anyone without having been wounded. Love was power and possession, love caused pain: you were never more exposed than when you were in love, never more wounded; possession was an enslavement, something stifling.
So far I had been travelling alone with my handbook and my Western Railway timetable: I was happiest finding my own way and did not require a liaison man. It had been my intention to stay on the train, without bothering about arriving anywhere: sight-seeing was a way of passing the time, but, as I had concluded in Istanbul, it was an activity very largely based on imaginative invention, like rehearsing your own play in stage sets from which all the actors had fled.