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 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.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy …the greatest source of misery in the world, the greatest cause of anguish and hatred and sadness and death, was neither disease nor race nor religion. It was hope.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness We live as we dream–alone….
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.
Franz Kafka I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy Kugel was a firm believer that death was not always a bad thing – that life often reached such levels of crapitude that dying was preferable to living.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Franz Kafka I am free and that is why I am lost.
Franz Kafka All language is but a poor translation.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
Marquis de Sade To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year Email servers learned to laugh.
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.
Graham Greene, The End of the Affair It’s a strange thing to discover and to believe that you are loved when you know that there is nothing in you for anybody but a parent or a God to love.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
Graham Greene, The Ministry of Fear But it is impossible to go through life without trust; that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
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.
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.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
Arthur Koestler The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
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
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Disappear, she says. I love that word.
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.
Will Self, Grey Area How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
A C Weisbecker, Cosmic Banditos Either the present part of the story slowed down a bit and waited for the past part to catch up, or the past part speeded up and overtook the present part.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Franz Kafka I am a cage, in search of a bird.
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.
Arthur Nersesian, The Fuck-Up As the components of your life are stripped away, after all the ambitions and hopes vaporize, you reach a self-reflective starkness– the repetitious plucking of a single overwound string.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
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.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
Megan Abbott When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
Franz Kafka I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Arthur Nersesian, The Fuck-Up Perhaps the price of comfort is that life passes more rapidly. But for anyone who has lived in uneasiness, even for a short, memorable duration, it’s a trade-off that will gladly be made.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine And if all womankind banded together and took the male path, the world would turn into one huge brothel.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
Marquis de Sade Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.
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.
Franz Kafka Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
Graham Greene Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
A C Weisbecker If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Franz Kafka Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me Ages fourteen to eighteen, a girl needs something to kill all that time, that endless itchy waiting, every hour, every day for something — anything — to begin.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Franz Kafka The meaning of life is that it stops.
Arthur Koestler Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
Jim Carroll You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
Arthur Nersesian, Dogrun Nowadays the standards had plummeted so far that I failed even at being a failure. I silently packed up. Nothing else was left. They had even robbed me of self-pity
Will Self Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
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.
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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.
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.
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!
Paul Auster, Invisible You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Blake Butler black beyond black
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.
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.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Megan Abbott, The Fever I have another friend who gets what I’m really like, and I get her. She scares me. Did you ever see yourself times ten in another person and want to cover your eyes?
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
Arthur Koestler, Drinkers of Infinity: Essays 1955-1967 Creative activity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
Luke Rhinehart There is something fundamentally wrong with the way we normally live our lives and we’d sort of like to find out what it is.
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.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth … her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
Paul Neilan Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
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.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me A weed is a plant out of place.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
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.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Marquis de Sade In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories Whenever I’m leaving I get sentimental for that nostalgia I know I won’t have the next day.
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
David Peace, The Damned Utd You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.