Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
Marquis de Sade Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
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.
Thomas Pluck, Dark City Lights I worked all day in back of a hot van snipping off dog balls, I can cut one more pair.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka I am a cage, in search of a bird.
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.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
Will Christopher Baer Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
Franz Kafka All language is but a poor translation.
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.
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.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness
Franz Kafka I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
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.
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.
Blake Butler black beyond black
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.
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.
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 It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
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.
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.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.
Franz Kafka Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
Will Self Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
Franz Kafka There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
Megan Abbott, Dare Me There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
Arthur Koestler Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
Paul Neilan Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
Arthur Koestler The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
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.
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.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
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.
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.
Marquis de Sade In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Franz Kafka I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four Uncle Eric holding court, proud the only time he ever left Yorkshire was to kill Germans.
Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
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.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth … her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.
Paul Auster, Invisible You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four I was miles and years away and then suddenly aware my hour was at hand, feeling all their eyes on me.
Franz Kafka A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
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.
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!
Cormac McCarthy, The Road You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness We live as we dream–alone….
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.
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.
Franz Kafka Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
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.
Franz Kafka The meaning of life is that it stops.
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.
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.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
David Peace, The Damned Utd You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
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.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Will Self, Grey Area How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
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.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
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.
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.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
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.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine And if all womankind banded together and took the male path, the world would turn into one huge brothel.
Marquis de Sade Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
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.