Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree We were left with nothing because of a love like acid that ate its way through our entire family.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son She wanted to eat my heart and be lost in the desert with what she’d done, she wanted to fall on her knees and give birth from it, she wanted to hurt me as only a child can be hurt by its mother.
William S Burroughs I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it.
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?
enis Johnson, Jesus’ Son There was a part of her she hadn’t yet allowed to be born because it was too beautiful for this place
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.
Anaïs Nin Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
William S Burroughs Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest All I know is this: nobody’s very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down.
Hunter S Thomson Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son And therefore I looked down into the great pity of a person’s life on this earth. I don’t mean that we all end up dead, that’s not the great pity. I mean that he couldn’t tell me what he was dreaming, and I couldn’t tell him what was real.
Henry Miller The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
Douglas Coupland, Life After God And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us or what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream But you cant shut everyone out. I mean you have to have someone to love. . .someone to hold on to. . . someone–
Irvine Welsh, Porno You can’t lie to your soul.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
Charles Bukowski Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
Hunter S Thomson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange But what I do I do because I like to do.
R D Ronald The best writers tend to look the roughest in photos. At least that’s the excuse I use for why I look so bad in mine.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl I asked the cardiologist why an electrocardiogram was called an EKG, instead of an ECG.He said, “Nazis. Nazis invented the machine.”After he left, I found a napkin on my breakfast tray and wrote that down: EKG = Nazis.
Irvine Welsh Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
Matthew Stokoe, Cows He was adrift in their world, unsure of his significance, and to open himself to a point where conversation could take place would only have revealed how unlike them he was.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
Rupert Thomson, Dreams of Leaving Her smiles were blurred, as if seen from a moving train. Her eyes always creased at the edges by dreams of leaving.
Rupert Thomson, The Insult You have to do normal things or they don’t go away. You have to reassure them. Or they just stand there staring at you, as if you’re a car-crash, or pornography.
Matthew Stokoe, Cows The Guernsey’s eyes were deep and brown and Steven knew that the curl of its lips was a small cow smile.
Hubert Selby Jr Sometimes we have the absolute certainty there’s something inside us that’s so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won’t be able to stand looking at it. But it’s when we’re willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook …what they show tells you what they want to hide.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
William S Burroughs There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
Ken Kesey, Kesey’s Garage Sale It isn’t by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
Anaïs Nin We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
Vladimir Nabokov Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.
William S Burroughs In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream I suspect there will never be a requiem for a dream, simply because it will destroy us before we have the opportunity to mourn it’s passing.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your ‘soul mate’ you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest He knows that you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.
J G Ballard Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction What does that mean know me, know me, nobody ever knows anybody else, ever! You will never know me.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road There is no God and we are his prophets.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
Vladimir Nabokov Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture.
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria Everything in the universe is everything else. A man is a killer is a saint is a monkey is a cockroach is a goldfish is a whale, and the Devil is just the angel who asked for More.
Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
Vladimir Nabokov Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
Chuck Palahniuk, Choke What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.
J G Ballard I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream There’s a sorrow and pain in everyone’s life, but every now and then there’s a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort like hot soup and a soft bed.
R D Ronald I’m the biggest critic of my own work, but sometimes you nail a chapter so good that you have to take a step back and admire that bitch.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho I have to return some videotapes
Henry Miller Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger Giving presents is one of the most possessive things we do, did you realize that? It’s the way we keep a hold on other people. Plant ourselves in their lives.
Hunter S Thomson I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl When life sucks, throw yourself into art.
Henry Miller To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell That’s what birthdays were. Days when you found out where you stood. Who was on your side and who wasn’t. Nothing to do with how old you were.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?
Anaïs Nin We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer I have found God, but he is insufficient.
Charles Bukowski We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love They thought to use and shame me but I win out by nature, because a true freak cannot be made. A true freak must be born.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man One week I’m helping to end a life, the next I’m stepping in to save one. Seemingly dichotomous acts, but actually one in the same.
Kola Boof, The Sexy Part of the Bible But somehow, once you start playing behind the steering wheel of God, you realize just how powerful it is to be the imagination driving the natural world (64).
R D Ronald Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell He looked both proud and guilty of something. As if happiness was a reward and he wasn’t sure he’d done enough to deserve it.