Best Quotes by Geoff Dyer

Have you ever stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai? I’d warmly recommend it. It’s super luxurious, and right next door, there’s a classic slum. So you can do a quick slum tour and get back to your sanctuary without any inconvenience but with some excellent snaps.

Geoff Dyer

I love festivals, period.

Geoff Dyer

There are the tears of rage when books get praised when they’re so obviously garbage. But then there are so many more that continue to move me: the end of ‘Paradise Lost,’ ‘The Ruined Cottage’ by Wordsworth, Prospero’s ‘Our revels now are ended’ speech near the end of ‘The Tempest.’

Geoff Dyer

The lesson of travel seems to be so banal, but so great, which is that people are just so amazingly decent the world over. Given the disparity of income and wealth, it’s amazing not just that you don’t get robbed everywhere – it’s amazing you don’t get eaten.

Geoff Dyer

I think I got into travelling because it was so not in my blood, so against my tendency to just stay put because my dad just hated going on holidays, because, as I’ve said in many essays, the thing that he hated more than anything else in life was spending money. And as soon as you leave your home, you’re spending money.

Geoff Dyer

Contrary to popular belief, Oxford has the highest concentration of dull-witted, stupid, narrow-minded people anywhere in the British Isles.

Geoff Dyer

If you’re not religious, like me, how do you explain the transformational power that certain places have? They bring an incredible degree of attention to where you are and the passage of time. You’re looking at every flower twitching, wondering if it’s just the breeze or some magical pulse.

Geoff Dyer

I do understand my limitations as a fiction writer, which is why my novels are always going to be close to home.

Geoff Dyer

It would be nice to turn off that incessant churning of consciousness.

Geoff Dyer

In history books, or the one about the guy who cut his hand off to get out of a canyon in Utah, you really want them to be accurate. But my stuff is such small beer by comparison.

Geoff Dyer

When I’m writing, quite often I start having a good time when I see there’s a chance to make myself look like a real jerk. I start chuckling and having an interesting, rather than a boring, time.

Geoff Dyer

For me, those little cinemas in Paris where I saw many art films for the first time meant that cinema became a kind of pilgrimage site.

Geoff Dyer

It’s one of these things that I’ve been struck by for so long about America. You know, this amazing politeness of American life that’s not at all class specific. It’s not like people get more polite as ascend the hierarchy of society. Just incredible good manners. It’s always been something that I’ve noticed.

Geoff Dyer

I feel that form determines how readers read a book and how they judge it.

Geoff Dyer

I think I can recognize when a piece is at a state of completion.

Geoff Dyer

There’s one profound difference between secular and religious pilgrimages. It’s inconceivable that a Muslim would feel a sense of anticlimax when reaching Mecca. But for a secular pilgrim, the potential for disappointment is always there.

Geoff Dyer

It really doesn’t matter if it happened exactly how I say it happened.

Geoff Dyer

I didn’t get on a plane until I was 23, after I left Oxford and was teaching at Lucy Clayton Secretarial College in London.

Geoff Dyer

People never read my books for the quality of the documentary value.

Geoff Dyer

I could never write a book where the point-of-view character was a short person, because I just can’t imagine what that’s like.

Geoff Dyer

When I started writing, the deal was that publishers gave you a grand or two as an advance to buy some sweets, with the promise that they would make a big putsch with your fourth book when you’d built up a bit of a following. But by the time my fourth book came out, previously unpublished authors were the new big thing.

Geoff Dyer

If you just take me as a fiction writer, then you’re probably going to find me fairly limited.

Geoff Dyer

I don’t read ‘genre’ fiction if that means novels with lots of killing and shooting. Even Cormac McCarthy’s ‘No Country for Old Men’ seemed pretty childish in that regard.

Geoff Dyer

I am still moved by passages of Marx: the ‘Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,’ for example, where, after the famous line about religion being ‘the opium of the people,’ he goes on to call it ‘the heart of a heartless world.’

Geoff Dyer

I didn’t read much of anything till I was 15, except Alistair MacLean and Michael Moorcock – the sword and sorcery novels – when I was about 13 or 14.

Geoff Dyer

I’m as strong and supple as a pane of thin glass. I’ve got too many ailments – left shoulder, left elbow and left wrist – in fact, the whole of the left arm.

Geoff Dyer

I’m incredibly competitive in all sports in a way that is so mystifying to my wife because she grew up playing the violin and piano. I’ve always been like that.

Geoff Dyer

I really like to win at sport.

Geoff Dyer

I’m never happier when writing than when I see gags taking shape – ideally, gags at my own expense. What I like is the shuttling back and forth, serious into comedy and vice-versa, ideally, both in the same sentence, or even simultaneously. The best jokes are always ideas in miniature.

Geoff Dyer

I have this long-running idea that the distinction between fiction and nonfiction is not just, ‘Did it happen or didn’t it happen?’ It’s one of form.

Geoff Dyer

I remember being interviewed about my first novel, ‘The Colour of Memory.’ They kept using the expression ‘your first novel,’ and I said, ‘No, I object to that phrase, because this is it for me.’

Geoff Dyer

While writing, I’m always so happy in the middle of a book or finishing a book and really hate starting them, so I often think, ‘I wish I had a really big book to write to which I could devote seven years of my life.’

Geoff Dyer

It doesn’t require much thought for one to realise that any travel book worthy of the name has to be a departure from the standard idea of the form.

Geoff Dyer

I first got a sense of that idea of nodality – but I didn’t use the word back then – with ‘The Missing of the Somme’: that sense of a particular place in a landscape or on a map having some kind of tremendous power to draw us to itself… that made me conscious, and since then, really, it has been an abiding concern of mine.

Geoff Dyer

I think that if you are a resolute, unswerving atheist, you have that sense that you are conscious of the God-shaped hole that has been left in the wake of any religious belief, and in a way, one is much more drawn to articulate why it is that certain places, or certain experiences, have a kind of power.

Geoff Dyer

The devastating scale and frequency of my disappointment was proof of how much I still expected and wanted from the world, of what high hopes I still had for it.

Geoff Dyer

Stories don’t interest me.

Geoff Dyer

I think I do have a sort of terrible propensity for boredom and for being bored, even though I am absolutely of the opinion that one shouldn’t be bored and that there is no excuse for it and that it is a personal failing.

Geoff Dyer

I’ve never been much drawn towards satire of any kind.

Geoff Dyer

Earnest people are always a bit on the thick side in my experience.

Geoff Dyer

Writing, for me, has always been a way of not having a career.

Geoff Dyer

What I’ve really liked doing is combining what you might call art criticism or music criticism with something that is happening in real life.

Geoff Dyer

It’s funny, because people always say when they meet me, having read me – or they read me, having met me – that they are struck by how the tone is pretty similar, in real life and in the books.

Geoff Dyer

Generally, I’m not anti the novel.

Geoff Dyer

My reading of serious books about serious music is seriously compromised by the way that I can’t understand any musical theory. Any mentions of D major or C minor are meaningless to me.

Geoff Dyer

I’ve always had this belief that you want to write about universal truths.

Geoff Dyer

One of the things I’ve really come to realise is that the chances of arriving at a universal truth are increased if you remain absolutely faithful to the contingencies of your own experience and the vagaries of your own nature.

Geoff Dyer

Sharing a room with one person is worse than sharing with six, and sharing with six is in some ways worse than sharing with sixty.

Geoff Dyer

The essence of my character is an inability to get used to things. This, in fact, is the one thing I have grown accustomed to: an inability to get used to things.

Geoff Dyer

As soon as I hear that there’s something to get used to, I know that I won’t; I sort of pledge myself to not getting used to it.

Geoff Dyer

You read ‘Stalingrad’ by Antony Beevor because you’re interested in the Second World War or Russia or whatever.

Geoff Dyer

I guess, when I left university, I liked the idea of being a writer, and I thought then that being a writer really meant that you were a novelist. But if one of the impulses for being a novelist is wanting to be a storyteller, I never had any urge to tell stories.

Geoff Dyer