Transgressive Fiction

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Franz Kafka
There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
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!
Franz Kafka
The meaning of life is that it stops.
Marquis de Sade
Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend
Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
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.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun
This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
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
Whenever I’m leaving I get sentimental for that nostalgia I know I won’t have the next day.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
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.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
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.
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
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka
I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands
It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
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.
Blake Butler
black beyond black
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.
Niccolò Machiavelli
I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
Franz Kafka
I am a cage, in search of a bird.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
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.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo
Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
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, Invisible
You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
Franz Kafka
Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
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.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
Jim Thompson
Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
We live as we dream–alone….
Lionel Shriver, Checker and the Derailleurs
A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
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.
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.
Jim Carroll
You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
Arthur Koestler
The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
Paul Auster
You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
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.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
Marquis de Sade
Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year
Email servers learned to laugh.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man
We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Kiss Me, Judas
And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
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.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels
If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG
She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
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.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
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.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild
I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Will Self, Grey Area
How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect
Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
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.
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.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth
… her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.
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.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four
Uncle Eric holding court, proud the only time he ever left Yorkshire was to kill Germans.
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.
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.
A C Weisbecker
If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Marquis de Sade
It is only by way of pain one arrives at pleasure
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 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
Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
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.
Paul Neilan
Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth
She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.
Matthew Stokoe, High Life
I’d done it, I’d crossed the line between accepted behavior and behavior most of the population would consider a lynching offense, and that morning I felt as real as any of the men in the Escape commercials. It had been dirty and nasty but I wanted more.
James Joyce, Ulysses
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
Albert Camus
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
George Orwell
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
Knut Hamsun
Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup
When you’re a kid, getting lost isn’t just an event or a situation, it’s like a career move. You get this thrill of anxiety and fear and a feeling that you’ve done something that can never be undone.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
Cowardice is the most terrible of vices.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
Kathy Acker
For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.
Ray Bradbury
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Kurt Vonnegut
The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.
James Joyce
Shut your eyes and see.
Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.
Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself
Hate can be just as intimate as love.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.
George Orwell, 1984
In the face of pain there are no heroes.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
Aldous Huxley
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.
Will Self
A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
Georges Bataille, Eroticism: Death and Sensuality
Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaining it.
Nick Cave, The Death of Bunny Munro
I am damned,’ thinks Bunny Munro in a sudden moment of self-awareness reserved for those who are soon to die.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.
Philip K Dick
There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.
Lauren Sapala, Between the Shadow and Lo
Most people don’t like to admit that vaginas have economic value, but they’re one of our most valuable natural resources.
Allen Ginsberg
I know too much and not enough
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
Dennis Cooper, Closer
Dan thought of love as defined by books, cobwebbed and hidden from view by the past. Too bad a love like that didn’t actually exist. In the twentieth century one had to fake it.
James Joyce, Ulysses
Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.
James Joyce
All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.
Alissa Nutting, Tampa
His eyes took in the details of my body with a conflicted gaze that I knew well: even having seen all the facts of the case, he still wanted me. He wanted me despite knowing what that meant about him.
Matthew Stokoe, High Life
I slept and the night rolled over into day like a dog. Another post-meridian awakening – sunshine on empty bottles, tangled clothes. I dozed while the temperature rose.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
George Orwell, 1984
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
William Golding
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.
Albert Camus
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
Alissa Nutting, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
I was like a turd inside someone who’d accidentally swallowed an engagement ring: I was nothing, yet I carried something uniquely special.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
Martin Amis, Other People
When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable
Philip K Dick
The problem with introspection is that it has no end.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?
Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates
Dreams are manifestations of identities.
Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano
I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
George Orwell, 1984
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.
George Orwell, 1984
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
Ryū Murakami
She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there
Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel
And Satan sighed and shook his head, played harp amongst the flames. ‘It’s Hell up there in Heaven too, for all that that is worth. Heaven is just a lie of mine to make it Hell on Earth.
Ian McEwan
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
Iain Banks, Against a Dark Background
Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
James Joyce, Ulysses
And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.
Georges Bataille
I don’t want your love unless you know i am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.
Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup
… The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different than the sort you know you’ll get through if you just hang in there
Poppy Z Brite
When you have too much faith in something, it’s bound to hurt you. Too much faith in anything will suck you dry. In this way, all the world is a vampire.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
Albert Camus
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Philip K Dick
If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.
Dennis Cooper, Closer
I’m a talentless but popular young singer and I have the feeling someone is watching me. I use the term loosely because I have few feelings, and even they’re too simple, like primary colors.
D H Lawrence
Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.
Ian McEwan, Saturday
You can tell a lot from a person’s nails. When a life starts to unravel, they’re among the first to go.
Allen Ginsberg
I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I’ll never be sane.
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York
I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
Georges Bataille, Violent Silence
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
And so it goes…
Poppy Z Brite
Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.
George Orwell
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Jack Kerouac
I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
Albert Camus
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.
Albert Camus
Live to the point of tears.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.
Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory
Looking at me, you’d never guess I’d killed three people. It isn’t fair.
Kurt Vonnegut
Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.
George Orwell, Animal Farm
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
George Orwell, 1984
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
Crowd was to be pleased. Crowd was to be worshipped and feared. Ultimately, Crowd was to be made sacrifice unto.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
Kathy Acker
If you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you. I want everything.
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
Richard Bachman, Thinner
The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Mothers are all slightly insane.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
Jack Kerouac
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.
Nick Cave
People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
James Joyce
Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.
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.
Denis Johnson
English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream
Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.
Patrick Süskind, The Pigeon
…he came to the conclusion that you cannot depend on people, and that you can live in peace only if you keep them at arm’s length.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead
I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
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.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.
R D Ronald
I’m not into this whole “move with the times” thing. I reckon we should just decide on a year and stick with it.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I don’t want to die without any scars.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?
Hunter S Thomson
Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
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.
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.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.
Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation
Sooner or later, everything turns into television.
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.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
Vladimir Nabokov
Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
Anaïs Nin
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly
I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
R D Ronald
Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.
R D Ronald
Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
Anaïs Nin
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
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.
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.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis
We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.
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–
Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief
I don’t deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
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.
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria
The time flies. The time flies feed on rotting clocks.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.
William S Burroughs
A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. A psychotic is a guy who’s just found out what’s going on.
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places
I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.
Henry Miller
To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
A person’s life story is equal to what they have plus what they want most in the world, minus what they’re actually willing to sacrifice for it.
Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
William S Burroughs
Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Post Office
I wanted the whole world or nothing.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
Scott glanced at his watch but didn’t register what it said. The notion of time had become as absurd as the quietly glowing trees.
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
Disappear here
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
I can’t remember if I took an oxy during the flight, so I eat two. They pair nicely with the scotch. It’s good to be home.
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.
R D Ronald, The Zombie Room
Decker smiled and shrugged off their laughter. The humour was only barbed if you sat on the outside, and now he was one of them.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
Anaïs Nin
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
Eroticize intelligence.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects
The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
I say I’m fine. I tell him I’ll be back to my old self once we’re getting handcuffed in Phnom Penh.
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.
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.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
William S Burroughs
Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
I have been a believer in the magic of language since, at a very early age, I discovered that some words got me into trouble and others got me out.
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.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
Sometimes what I wouldn’t give to have us sitting in a bar again at 9:00 a.m. telling lies to one another, far from God.
Anaïs Nin
I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ
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.
Henry Miller
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
That’s why Twinkle likes the place so much, Scott thought, looking around at the faded wood veneer tables, and the faded souls drinking at them. Misery was soaked through the place like the old beer soaked through its carpets.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
He never praised me whenever I’d hit a home run in little league, but I kill a few people and all of the sudden I’m his idol.
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.
Penelope Lively, How it all Began
When you are able to be with a person and there is no need to talk, something has happened.
Anthony Burgess, Homage To QwertYuiop: Essays
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
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.
Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last
You have to die a few times before you can really live.
Anthony Burgess
Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.
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.
Violet Levoit, I Miss The World
Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “9/11.” “I shouldn’t even.” “No, come on.” “9/11 who?” “You swore you’d never forget.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting
By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be.
Hunter S Thomson, Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground
I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
Hunter S Thomson
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
The fig tree had dropped its fruit all over the ground. Ripe figs lay in the dust, exploded, bloody, as if the sky had rained organs.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.
Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point
I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.
Ryū Murakami
She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there
George Orwell, 1984
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup
When you’re a kid, getting lost isn’t just an event or a situation, it’s like a career move. You get this thrill of anxiety and fear and a feeling that you’ve done something that can never be undone.
William Golding, Pincher Martin
Worse than madness. Sanity.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.
Albert Camus
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
Albert Camus
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
George Orwell, 1984
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
Ray Bradbury
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Knut Hamsun, Hunger
…I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye.
Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup
Parents, teachers, government – they all teach you how to live the dreary , deadening life of a slave, but nobody teaches you how to live normally.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
Kurt Vonnegut
The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.
George Orwell, 1984
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack
Nature has a pretty sick sense of humor.
Albert Camus
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
Will Self
Schadenfreude is so nutritious.
Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel
Listen, ah don’t wanna speak ill of the dead but have ah told you that mah mother was a great whopping whale of a cunt? Well she was precisely that – a great whopping whale of a hog’s cunt with a dirty maggot for a brain.
Dennis Cooper, Closer
I’m a talentless but popular young singer and I have the feeling someone is watching me. I use the term loosely because I have few feelings, and even they’re too simple, like primary colors.
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York
I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory
Sometimes the thoughts and feelings I had didn’t really agree with each other, so I decided I must be lots of different people inside my brain.
Poppy Z Brite, Wormwood: A Collection of Short Stories
You hold onto what you have; you do not give it up easily, even when you know it is poisoning you.
Poppy Z Brite
The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.
James Joyce
Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
And so it goes…
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
George Orwell
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
George Orwell, Animal Farm
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
Crowd was to be pleased. Crowd was to be worshipped and feared. Ultimately, Crowd was to be made sacrifice unto.
James Joyce, Ulysses
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.
Georges Bataille
I don’t want your love unless you know i am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.
Richard Bachman, Thinner
The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
When a child grows old enough to know J.R.R. Tolkien was just staring at a typewriter, the truth can be a wounding exposé.
Martin Amis, Other People
When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable
Lauren Sapala, Between the Shadow and Lo
Most people don’t like to admit that vaginas have economic value, but they’re one of our most valuable natural resources.
Martin Amis, House of Meetings
Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.
James Joyce, Ulysses
And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.
Matthew Stokoe, High Life
I’d done it, I’d crossed the line between accepted behavior and behavior most of the population would consider a lynching offense, and that morning I felt as real as any of the men in the Escape commercials. It had been dirty and nasty but I wanted more.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
Thus it is that no cruelty whatsoever passes by without impact. Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.
George Orwell, 1984
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
Georges Bataille, Eroticism: Death and Sensuality
Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaining it.
Georges Bataille
In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
She lay in the dark and knew everything.
Iain Banks
It’s a library, only the stupid or the evil are afraid of those
George Orwell, 1984
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.
Ryū Murakami
Everybody wants to talk about themselves, and everybody wants to hear everybody else’s story, so we take turns playing reporter and celebrity.
Alissa Nutting, Tampa
There was something repulsive (and revealing) about talking on a cell phone while handling garbage. Why did anyone pretend human relationships had value?
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
Jim Carroll
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
Poppy Z Brite
When you have too much faith in something, it’s bound to hurt you. Too much faith in anything will suck you dry. In this way, all the world is a vampire.
George Orwell, 1984
In the face of pain there are no heroes.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar’s vile tongue be cut out! Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!
Ian McEwan, Saturday
You can tell a lot from a person’s nails. When a life starts to unravel, they’re among the first to go.
Martin Amis, The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11
Love is an abstract noun, something nebulous. And yet love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the world turns upside down and the screen goes black.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
Cowardice is the most terrible of vices.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
Ian McEwan
Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion and the beginning of morality
Albert Camus
Don’t walk in front of me… I may not followDon’t walk behind me… I may not leadWalk beside me… just be my friend
Ian McEwan, Atonement
It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
None of us really has anything to lose. That makes it easier to give away.
Martin Amis, London Fields
And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.
Kathy Acker
If you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you. I want everything.
Aldous Huxley
Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
Aldous Huxley
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.
Knut Hamsun
Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
Ryū Murakami, Coin Locker Babies
They don’t realise that they’ve changed; they think it’s the world that changed.
Georges Bataille, Violent Silence
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
Kathy Acker, Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia
Everytime you read, you are walking among the dead, and, if you are listening, you just might hear prophecies.
George Orwell, 1984
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School
Love goes away when your mind goes away and then you’re someone else.
D H Lawrence, The Complete Poems
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.
Allen Ginsberg
I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I’ll never be sane.
Georges Bataille
The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth.
Albert Camus
Live to the point of tears.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.
Poppy Z Brite
Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.
William Golding
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving
All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.
George Orwell, Animal Farm
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
Philip K Dick
If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.
Poppy Z Brite, Lost Souls
If you want something, you don’t wait for the world to deal it out for you. You take it.
Aldous Huxley
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
George Orwell
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?
R D Ronald, The Zombie Room
Decker smiled and shrugged off their laughter. The humour was only barbed if you sat on the outside, and now he was one of them.
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.
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.
R D Ronald
Nothing says Christmas better than familicide and anaphylactic shock.
Hunter S Thomson
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
He never praised me whenever I’d hit a home run in little league, but I kill a few people and all of the sudden I’m his idol.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I don’t want to die without any scars.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
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
We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
A person’s life story is equal to what they have plus what they want most in the world, minus what they’re actually willing to sacrifice for it.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
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.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
Over the previous six months, there was only one thing Gage had become more efficient at than killing… and that was dying.
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.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
Sylvia Plath
Is there no way out of the mind?
Henry Miller
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
J G Ballard
Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?
R D Ronald
Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
I knew every raindrop by its name.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
Sometimes what I wouldn’t give to have us sitting in a bar again at 9:00 a.m. telling lies to one another, far from God.
J G Ballard
Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
R D Ronald
I’m not into this whole “move with the times” thing. I reckon we should just decide on a year and stick with it.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
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.
Henry Miller
What’s a fuck when what I want is love?
Vladimir Nabokov
Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.
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
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.
Anaïs Nin
Ordinary life does not interest me.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
Violet Levoit, I Miss The World
Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “9/11.” “I shouldn’t even.” “No, come on.” “9/11 who?” “You swore you’d never forget.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
I can’t remember if I took an oxy during the flight, so I eat two. They pair nicely with the scotch. It’s good to be home.
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.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
Scott glanced at his watch but didn’t register what it said. The notion of time had become as absurd as the quietly glowing trees.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov
Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.
Rupert Thomson, Secrecy
Perhaps there comes a time in your life when you lose the ability to command attention, when the world starts to ignore you because it no longer believes you can have much of an effect on it.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
Henry Miller
To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
Penelope Lively, How it all Began
When you are able to be with a person and there is no need to talk, something has happened.
Anaïs Nin
I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ
Douglas Coupland, Hey Nostradamus
In the end, I think the relationships that survive in this world are the ones where two people can finish each other’s sentences. Forget drama and torrid sex and the clash of opposites. Give me banter any day of the week.
Henry Miller
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Post Office
I wanted the whole world or nothing.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
But what I do I do because I like to do.
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.
Anthony Burgess
Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction
No one ever likes the right person.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life
A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
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).
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground
Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
I say I’m fine. I tell him I’ll be back to my old self once we’re getting handcuffed in Phnom Penh.
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting
By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
The craggy lines that made up the character in his face now seemed like scars of defeat, inflicted on him over time.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
I have to return some videotapes
R D Ronald
I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
Douglas Coupland
I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
I get glimpses of the horror of normalcy. Each of these innocents on the street is engulfed by a terror of their own ordinariness. They would do anything to be unique.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.
Anaïs Nin
How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?
Anthony Burgess, Homage To QwertYuiop: Essays
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.
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.
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.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief
I don’t deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
Disappear here
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria
The time flies. The time flies feed on rotting clocks.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Charles Bukowski
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
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–
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis
The world is on fire; time is a bomb.Ten thousand years are not enoughWhen so much remains to be done
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
Eroticize intelligence.

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