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.
Arthur Koestler The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
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.
Paul Auster, Oracle Night It always stimulates me to discover new examples of my own prejudice and stupidity, to realize that I don’t know half as much as I think I do.
Will Self, Grey Area How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
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.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
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.
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.
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?
Paul Auster You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year Email servers learned to laugh.
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.
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.
Jim Thompson Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
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.
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.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Joseph Conrad, Chance Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
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.
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, Penny Dreadful A friend is like anything else. A dog, a plant. You ignore them and they tend to die on you.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
A C Weisbecker If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Tanya Thompson, Assuming Names: A Con Artist’s Masquerade Do you know the difference between neurotics and psychotics?Neurotics build castles in the sky; psychotics move into them.
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.
Marquis de Sade Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
Marquis de Sade Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.
Blake Butler black beyond black
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
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.
Marquis de Sade Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Niccolò Machiavelli I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
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 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.
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
Megan Abbott, Dare Me If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Franz Kafka I am free and that is why I am lost.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness We live as we dream–alone….
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer “Nothing.” The thought went through my mind that it didn’t make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
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.
Megan Abbott When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
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!
Franz Kafka I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
Aleister Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4 The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.
Megan Abbott, You Will Know Me Because there’s a hundred ways sex can ruin you but there’s no end to the ways love can.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Disappear, she says. I love that word.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
Will Christopher Baer Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
Franz Kafka There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
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.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.
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.
Marquis de Sade It is only by way of pain one arrives at pleasure
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.
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.
Will Self Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
Paul Neilan Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
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.
Franz Kafka The meaning of life is that it stops.
Arthur Nersesian, Dogrun I lay in bed and watched moments break into phenomenal particles of panic and could actually see the divine crack of God’s ass as he completely turned his back on me.
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.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness
Graham Greene Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
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.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Chuck Klosterman People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
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.
Franz Kafka Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
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
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
Jim Carroll You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
Cormac McCarthy, The Road You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy In other words: It seems to me that I will always be happy in the place where I am not. Or, more bluntly: Wherever I am not is the place where I am myself. Or else, taking the bull by the horns: Anywhere out of the world.
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.
Franz Kafka All language is but a poor translation.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
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.