I'm only fifty years old. If I stop smoking and drinking, or rather drinking and smoking, I can still write a book. Not books, but a single book, perhaps. I am convinced, Lucas, that every human being is born to write a book, and for no other reason. A work of genius or mediocrity, it doesn't matter, but he who writes nothing is lost, he has merely passed through life without leaving a trace. p271
When you feel too much pain, too much sorrow, and you don't want to talk to anyone, write it down. It will help you. p292
"What are you writing, for instance?"
"What I write is absolutely meaningless."
She insists. "What I want to know is whether you write things that are true or things that are made up."
I answer that I try to write true stories but that at a given point the story becomes unbearable because of its very truth, and then I have to change it. I tell her that I try to tell my story but all of a sudden I can't -- I don't have the courage, it hurts too much. And so I embellish everything and describe things not as they happened but the way I wish they had happened.
She says, "Yes. There are lives sadder than the saddest of books."
I say, "Yes. No book, no matter how sad, can be as sad as life."
Agota Kristof -- The Proof/The Third Lie