Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine And if all womankind banded together and took the male path, the world would turn into one huge brothel.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man I hated myself and the world because I had failed to face and accept the limitations of my self and of life. In literature this refusal is called romanticism; in psychology, neurosis.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
Joan Didion You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Megan Abbott When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
Will Christopher Baer Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
Marquis de Sade Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four My father used to say, ‘If you want to know the artist, look at the art’. He was usually talking about Stanley Matthews or Don Bradman when he said it.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine Finally, when all was said and done, the certainty (so often experienced, yet always new) that female charms, the kind that inflame the senses, are no more than kitchen smells: they tease you when you’re hungry and disgust you when you’ve had your fill.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man It’s the way a man chooses to limit himself that determines his character. A man without habits, consistency, redundancy – and hence boredom – is not human. He’s insane.
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It’s like someone who prays every night saying God’s a good listener. Just because you’re talking to us doesn’t mean we’re listening. With me and God, you never really know.
Blake Butler, Scorch Atlas Overhead the sky was melting, the cracked cream color rubbing off in cogs of brine.The fields far ahead of me in endless pudding, studded here and there with what had been: homes and houses, hair and heirlooms, habits, hallways, hauntings, hope.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
Niccolò Machiavelli I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
Franz Kafka I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas I am so stupid, so easily fooled. It’s really almost funny. If I could lift a finger I would gladly kill myself.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin I thought at the time that I couldn’t be horrified anymore, or wounded. I suppose that’s a common conceit, that you’ve already been so damaged that damage itself, in its totality, makes you safe.
Blake Butler, Three Hundred Million I put the girl’s teeth shaped like my mother’s teeth into my own mouth and on her teeth I chewed until I heard my own teeth in my head breaking and I swallowed and I smiled.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness We live as we dream–alone….
Blake Butler black beyond black
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
A C Weisbecker If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Franz Kafka I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.
Jim Thompson Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
Franz Kafka All language is but a poor translation.
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer and other stories Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank — but that’s not the same thing.
Franz Kafka Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
Stephen Graham Jones, After the People Lights Have Gone Off Each moment, the world washes its hands of you, starts all over again. Easy as that. Wonderful as that.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
Joan Didion I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
Franz Kafka I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel–it is, before all, to make you see.
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin Children live in the same world we do. To kid ourselves that we can shelter them from it isn’t just naive it’s a vanity.
Lauren Sapala, Between the Shadow and Lo Better than drugs that don’t last and more solid than gold, vaginas allow women to move about unmolested, in a way that men can only dream of.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Every relationship is fundamentally a power struggle, and the individual in power is whoever likes the other person less.
Franz Kafka I am a cage, in search of a bird.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man Tell me the manner in which a patient commits suicide and I’ll tell you how he can be cured
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine To begin with, I had never done any good deeds; besides, even if I had simply fabricated a few, I would not have enjoyed going on about them.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
Franz Kafka I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine I was terrified as only grown men and women can be when they wake in the middle of the night and begin to realize, in the absolute silence and solitude all around them, that it is not only their dream that has woken them, that it is their whole way of life.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Franz Kafka, The Trial It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.
Franz Kafka The meaning of life is that it stops.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies When a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappear. For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists.
Franz Kafka There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me I kissed her, a long hard kiss. Because baby didn’t know it, but baby was dead, and in a way I couldn’t have loved her more.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
Will Christopher Baer, Penny Dreadful A friend is like anything else. A dog, a plant. You ignore them and they tend to die on you.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
Marquis de Sade Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
Marquis de Sade My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!
Aleister Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4 One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.
Stephen Graham Jones, The Least of My Scars Don’t let anybody ever tell you life’s fair. Not as long as I’m in it.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Every one interprets everything in terms of his own experience. If you say anything which does not touch a precisely similar spot in another man’s brain, he either misunderstands you, or doesn’t understand you at all.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Disappear, she says. I love that word.
Arthur Koestler I went to Communism as one goes to a spring of fresh water, and I left Communism as one clambers out of a poisoned river strewn with the wreckage of flooded cities and the corpses of the drowned.
Joan Didion, Where I Was From I closed the box and put it in a closet.There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Life is rarely about what happened; it’s mostly about what we think happened.
Lauren Sapala, Between the Shadow and Lo I told most people I was an alcoholic if they asked and some if they didn’t. I figured everyone deserved a fair chance to cut and run at the very beginning.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year Email servers learned to laugh.
Graham Greene, Ways of Escape Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.
Blake Butler, Three Hundred Million Blood helicopters chopped across my slim cerebrum like fresh diamonds, rings in screaming on small hands coming awake inside my linings, each after its own way to reach beyond me.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Arthur Nersesian, Manhattan Loverboy The masses-I love em-they rush for red lights, risking everything to capture a few seconds, only to get home and waste their lives.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me We’re all wanting things we don’t understand. things we can’t even name. The yearning so deep, like pinions over our hearts.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
Paul Auster You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
Will Self Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
Tanya Thompson, Assuming Names: A Con Artist’s Masquerade From what I’d witnessed, honesty didn’t really make anyone happy. The truth was a punch to the gut, and while you were falling, a knee to the face, then you could lie on the floor and bleed for a spell.
Stephen Graham Jones, After the People Lights Have Gone Off But at some point you have to just decide that if a bear’s going to eat you, a bear’s going to eat you, and then you go about your day.
David Peace, The Damned Utd You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
Jim Carroll You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
Jim Thompson There are thirty-two ways to write a story, and I’ve used every one, but there is only one plot – things are not as they seem.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man Give up all hope, all illusion, all desire..I’ve tried. I’ve tried and still I desire, I still desire not to desire and hope to be without hope and have the illusion I can be without illusions..Give up, I say. Give up everything, including the desire to be saved.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon The principle that the end justifies the means is and remains the only rule of political ethics; anything else is just a vague chatter and melts away between one’s fingers.