Famous Quotes & Sayings

Patrick Modiano Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 82 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Patrick Modiano.

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Famous Quotes By Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1760310

In writing this book, I send out signals, like a lighthouse beacon in whose power to illuminate the darkness, alas, I have no faith. But I live in hope. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 968648

A man without scenery is completely disarmed. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 579234

People don't come back any more. Haven't you noticed that, Monsieur? — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1675552

Life is completely different when you live near a railway station. It feels as if you're just passing through. Everything is temporary. One day or another, you'll hop on a train. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1861074

I always have the impression that I write the same book. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1403656

In those days, I thought I was happy. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 317496

Strange people. The kind that leave the merest blur behind them, soon vanished. Hutte and I often used to talk about these traceless beings. They spring up out of nothing one fine day and return there, having sparkled a little. Beauty queens. Gigolos. Butterflies. Most of them, even when alive, had no more substance than steam which will never condense. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1163313

People certainly lead compartmentalized lives and their friends do not know each other. It's unfortunate. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1274345

Something happens between a novel and its reader which is similar to the process of developing photographs, the way they did it before the digital age. The photograph, as it was printed in the darkroom, became visible bit by bit. As you read your way through a novel, the same chemical process takes place. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1921892

I just have two daughters and a grandson. So not a big family. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1439706

Without fully realizing it, I began writing my first book. It was neither a vocation nor a particular gift that pushed me to write, but quite simply the enigma posed by a man I had no chance of finding again, and by all those questions that would never have an answer. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 375575

Encourage aspiring writers to continue writing when things are going against them, when it feels hard. Explain the typical obstacles that occur, and encourage and reassure them to continue, never to give up. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 2221465

I write in the most classical French because this form is necessary for my novels: to translate the murky, floating, unsettling atmosphere I wanted them to have, I had to discipline it into the clearest, most traditional language possible. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 2181198

No. She told me she was going to marry him, to get French nationality . . . She was obsessed with getting a nationality... — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1116755

Finally, the horizon stretched out infinitely before me and I felt utterly content looking at stars from afar and trying to make out all the variable, temporary, extinguished or faded stars. I was nothing in this infinity, but I could finally breathe. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 886364

I noticed a phenomenon that doesn't often happen to
a man: several women turned round as he passed them. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1628775

As a writer, one is always a little blind to what one writes. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1397895

One should never expect anyone to reply to one's questions. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 922870

One has to retire eventually, Guy. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 847427

It's not a large crowd," he said, "and I have the feeling this wedding party is going to end in an orgy." He shrugged his shoulders. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 836307

Nice is a city of ghosts and specters, but I hope not to become one of them right away. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1207430

The more obscure and mysterious things remained, the more interested I became in them. I even looked for mystery where there was none. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1305290

That is her secret. A poor and precious secret that not even the executioners, the decrees, the occupying authorities, the Depot, the barracks, the camps, History, time-everything that defiles and destroys you-have been able to take away from her. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 378153

For a long time - and this particular time with greater force than usual - summer has been a season that gives me a sense of emptiness and absence, and takes me back to the past. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 753952

In the end, we are all determined by the place and the time in which we were born. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 504077

Something--he wondered later if it was simply his youth--something that had weighed upon him until that moment broke off him, the way a piece of rock slides slowly into the sea and disappears in a spray of foam. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1349408

But I am a patient man. I can wait for hours in the rain — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 955828

When he was younger, he used the slightest opportunity to slip away from people, without his being able to understand very clearly why he did so: a longing to break free and to breathe in the fresh air? — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 696179

On winning Literature Nobel Prize: I was actually in the street. Yes, I was in the street. It was my daughter who notified me. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1751600

Did you see her again in France?" I asked him."

"No. When I got to France, she was already dead. She committed suicide ..."

"Why?"

"She often told me she was frightened of getting old... — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 822144

I've always had the wish, the nostalgia to be able to write detective novels. At heart, the principal themes of detective novels are close to the things that obsess me: disappearance, the problems of identity, amnesia, the return to an enigmatic past. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 960341

I quickly realised that it is difficult to get started when writing a novel. You have this dream of what you want to create, but it is like walking around a swimming pool and hesitating to jump in because the water is too cold. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 2099166

You were right to tell me that in life it is not the future which counts, but the past. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1322395

Yes, this man had the persistence of an insect. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 972177

At the beginning, I experienced writing as a sort of constraint. Starting so young as a writer is pitiable: it's beyond your powers; you have to lay bare things that are very heavy, and you don't have the means for that. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 81277

After all, the war doesn't alter my relationship with a blade of grass. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 185578

Recently, I looked back at my first manuscripts and was struck by the lack of space, of breath. That's exactly how it felt, back then ... like I was suffocating. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 212373

We discover, often too late to talk to him about it, an episode from his life that a loved one has concealed from you. Has he really hidden it from you? He has forgotten, or more likely, over time, he no longer thinks about it. Or, quite simply, he can't find the words. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 262148

How could the war have any semblance of reality when you found yourself sitting under a plane tree in a playground, in the provincial calm of an early afternoon? — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 272930

Many years afterwards, we attempt to solve puzzles that were not mysteries at the time and we try to decipher half-obliterated letters from a language that is too old and whose alphabet we don't even know. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 326148

Hutte was always saying that, in the end, we are all "beach men" and that "the sand"--I am quoting his own words-- keeps the traces of our footsteps only a few moment — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 339875

How long did they stay there in that room, on the narrow bed? She had a scar on her shoulder, in the shape of a star, that Louis couldn't help but run his lips over. A souvenir of a fall from a horse. It got dark. They could hear the clattering of hooves, a whinny, and the high-pitched voice of the marquis giving orders at more and more distant intervals, like a motif on a flute, clear and desolate, returning again and again. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 404201

He had written this book only in the hope that she might get in touch with him. Writing a book, for him, was also a way of beaming a searchlight or sending out coded signals to certain people with whom he had lost touch. It was enough to scatter their names at random through the pages and wait until they finally produced news of themselves. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 411689

And yet, from time to time, beneath this thick layer of amnesia, you can certainly sense something, an echo, distant, muted, but of what, precisely, it is impossible to say. Like finding yourself on the edge of a magnetic field, with no pendulum to pick up the radiation. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 411800

Perhaps it was one of those mild, sunny winter days when you have a feeling of holiday and eternity-the illusory feeling that the course of time is suspended, and that you need only slip through this breach to escape the trap that is closing around you. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 461976

We'd known each other over a very short period of time. He left France in June of 1964, and I'm writing this in April 1992. I never received word from him and I don't know if he's dead or alive. The memory of him had remained dormant, but now it has suddenly come flooding back this early spring of 1992. Is it because I came across the picture of my girlfriend and me, on the back of which a blue stamp says Photo by Jansen. All rights reserved? Or for the simple reason that every spring looks the same? Today the air was light, the buds had burst on the trees in the gardens of the Observatoire, and the month of April 1992 merged by an effect of superimposition with the month of April 1964. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 578342

Because I find writing painful, I try to get it over with as fast as possible. But I write every day, or I lose the thread. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 579659

Why do people whose existence you are unaware of, whom you meet once and will never see again, come to play, behind the scenes, an important role in your life? — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 687002

On winter mornings when it's dark and the air is crisp, the lights are still shining and the first customers are gathered at the counter like conspirators. They give you the illusion that the day will be a new adventure. And that illusion stats with you for at least some of the morning. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 725768

A novelist can never be his own reader, except when he is ridding his manuscript of syntax errors, repetitions, or the occasional superfluous paragraph. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 767711

When I was younger, I just put off the writing until later in the day, but now I write early every morning to get it done. I can only write for a few hours at a time; after that, my attention fades. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 846063

A novelist's lack of awareness of and critical distance to his own body of work is due to a phenomenon that I have noticed in myself and many others: as soon as it is written, every new book erases the last one, leaving me with the impression that I have forgotten it. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 878056

One has to be aware of so-called witnesses. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1105294

And then the next fifteen years fell apart: a few blurry faces, a few vague memories, ashes... — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1120582

The letters dance before my eyes. Who am I? — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1131736

Hutte, for instance, used to quote the case of a fellow he called "the beach man." This man had spent forty years of his life on beaches or by the sides of swimming pools, chatting pleasantly with summer visitors and rich idlers. He is to be seen, in his bathing costume, in the corners and backgrounds of thousands of holiday snaps, among groups of happy people, but no one knew his name and why he was there. And no one noticed when one day he vanished from the photographs. I did not dare tell Hutte, but I felt that "the beach man" was myself. Though it would not have surprised him if I had confessed it. Hutte was always saying that, in the end, we were all "beach men" and that "the sand" - I am quoting his own words - "keeps the traces of our footsteps only a few moments. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1146343

For a long time, I've had a recurring dream - I dream I don't have to write any more, that I'm free. I'm not free, alas; I'm still clearing the same terrain, with the impression that it's never finished. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1165689

Then she lowered her arm and the gate closed behind her. That arm suddenly falling and the metallic clank of the gate shutting made me understand that from one moment to another one can lose heart. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1197091

All those journeys, those countries where they had monsoons, earthquakes, amoebas and virgin forests, had lost their charm for me. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1202118

She had the right idea, old man, don't you think - to disappear before it gets too late? — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1205122

I recognized one of the qualities I most admired in my wife: the beautiful big handwriting of the illiterate that she was. Darling, — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1210100

The more things remain obscure and mysterious, the more they interest me. I even try to find mystery in things that have none. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1257903

I think I became a writer because I didn't know of anything else to do. Maybe some incident from my childhood influenced me. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1392033

rediscover the quality he possessed in — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1428930

That's the miracle of fiction. I use it to spray on certain moments or places from my youth. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1514743

Someone had told him one day that you forget the voices of those whom you have been close to in the past very quickly. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1516003

In the end, we forget the details of our lives that embarrass us or are too painful. We just lie back and allow ourselves to float along calmly over the deep waters, with our eyes closed. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1550242

Usually, when I came home by myself at night, I would get to the corner or Rue Coustou and suddenly feel like I was leaving the present and sliding into a zone where time had stopped. And I was terrified of never being able to cross back, to return to Place Blanche, where life was being lived. I though I would remain forever a prisoner of that little street and that room, like Sleeping Beauty. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1554118

Unless the line of a life, once it has reached its term, purges itself of all its useless and decorative elements. In which case, all that remains is the essential: the blanks, the silences and the pauses. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1641235

Really, I prefer not to read my early books. Not that I don't like them, but I don't recognize myself anymore, like an old actor watching himself as a young leading man. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1650876

I often have the impression that the book I've just finished isn't satisfied: that it rejects me because I haven't successfully completed it. Because there is no going back, I'm forced to begin a new book so I can finally complete the previous one. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1689062

Writing is a strange and solitary activity. There are dispiriting times when you start working on the first few pages of a novel. Every day, you have the feeling you are on the wrong track. This creates a strong urge to go back and follow a different path. It is important not to give in to this urge but to keep going. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1689978

When you really love someone, you must accept their part of mystery. And that's why you love them. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1747062

My wife's a lot younger than me ... thirty years difference ... You should never marry a woman a lot younger than you ... Never ... — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1833341

On the sidewalk, dead leaves. Or burned pages from an old Gaffiot dictionary. It's the neighborhood of colleges and convents. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1835958

So they would't suffer too much from hunger, they slept and rested in bed for as long as they could. They lost all notion of time, and if Brossier hadn't come back they would never have left that room, not even the bed, where they listened to music and little by little drifted off. The last thing they saw from the outside world were the snowflakes falling all day on the sill of the open window. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1872317

"Do you often wear this dress?"
He pointed to the black satin dress with the two yellow swallows.
"I found it here when I rented the room. It must have belonged to the previous lodger."
"Or perhaps to you, in an earlier life." — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 1922814

How much longer would we go on being old young people? They waved
goodbye to me. I was moved by Annette. She and I were
exactly the same age, and she'd become one of those slightly
faded Danish beauties who used to attract me when I was
twenty. They were older than I was at that time, and I was
grateful for their tender protection. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 2007016

For me the autumn has never been a sad season. The dead leaves and the increasingly shorter days have never suggested the end of anything, but rather an expectation of the future. In paris, there is an electricity in the air in october evenings at nightfall. Even when it is raining. i do not feel low at that hour of the day, nor do i have the sense of time flying by. i have the impression that everything is possible. the year begins in the month of october. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 2194158

Circumstances and settings are no importance. One day this sense of emptiness and remorse submerges you. Then, like a tide, it ebbs and disappears. But in the end it returns in force, and she couldn't shake it off. Nor could I. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 2257770

The doctor used to tell me that every person about to die becomes a music box playing the melody that best describes his life, his character, and his hopes. For some, it's a popular waltz; for others, a march. — Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano Quotes 2259830

I had taken out of my pocket the photographs of us all which I had wanted to show Freddie, and among them the photo of Gay Orlov as a little girl. I had not noticed until then that she was crying. One could tell by the wrinkling of her brows. For a moment, my thoughts transported me far from this lagoon, to the other end of the world, to a seaside resort in Southern Russia where the photo had been taken, long ago. A little girl is returning from the beach, at dusk, with her mother. She is crying for no reason at all, because she would have liked to continue playing. She moves off into the distance. She has already turned the corner of the street, and do not our lives dissolve into the evening as quickly as this grief of childhood? — Patrick Modiano