I spent my time very nicely in many ways, but not fully satisfactory. Then I became Professor in France, but realized that I was not – for the job that I should spend my life in.

If you assume continuity, you can open the well-stocked mathematical toolkit of continuous functions and differential equations, the saws and hammers of engineering and physics for the past two centuries (and the foreseeable future).

A cloud is made of billows upon billows upon billows that look like clouds. As you come closer to a cloud you don’t get something smooth, but irregularities at a smaller scale.

I had many books and I had dreams of all kinds. Dreams in which were in a certain sense, how to say, easy to make because the near future was always extremely threatening.

Humanity has known for a long time what fractals are. It is a very strange situation in which an idea which each time I look at all documents have deeper and deeper roots, never (how to say it), jelled.

Round about the accredited and orderly facts of every science there ever floats a sort of dustcloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves more easy to ignore than to attend to.

The beauty of what I happened by extraordinary chance to put together is that nobody would have believed that this is possible, and certainly I didn’t expect that it was possible. I just moved from step to step to step.

One couldn’t even measure roughness. So, by luck, and by reward for persistence, I did found the theory of roughness, which certainly I didn’t expect and expecting to found one would have been pure madness.

If one takes the kinds of risks which I took, which are colossal, but taking risks, I was rewarded by being able to contribute in a very substantial fashion to a variety of fields. I was able to reawaken and solve some very old problems.

It was astonishing when at one point, I got the idea of how to make artifical clouds with a collaborator, we had pictures made which were theoretically completely artificial pictures based upon that one very simple idea. And this picture everybody views as being clouds.

I didn’t feel comfortable at first with pure mathematics, or as a professor of pure mathematics. I wanted to do a little bit of everything and explore the world.

If you look at a shape like a straight line, what’s remarkable is that if you look at a straight line from close by, from far away, it is the same; it is a straight line.

Some mathematicians didn’t even perceive of the possibility of a picture being helpful. To the contrary, I went into an orgy of looking at pictures by the hundreds; the machines became a little bit better.

Everything is roughness, except for the circles. How many circles are there in nature? Very, very few. The straight lines. Very shapes are very, very smooth. But geometry had laid them aside because they were too complicated.