Transgressive Fiction

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Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas

Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.

Franz Kafka

Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.

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.

Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy

Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Paul Auster, Invisible

You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.

Arthur Koestler

The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.

Joan Didion

You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.

Paul Neilan

Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.

Blake Butler

black beyond black

Marquis de Sade

Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?

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.

Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo

Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.

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.

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.

Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.

M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine

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.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.

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.

Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories

The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.

Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels

If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager

Joseph Conrad, Chance

Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

A C Weisbecker

If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.

Franz Kafka

The meaning of life is that it stops.

Will Christopher Baer

Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.

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

Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.

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 Auster

You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.

Franz Kafka

There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.

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.

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.

Franz Kafka

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

We live as we dream–alone….

Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth

Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.

Franz Kafka

I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.

Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories

Sitting on my stool I thought of a bumper sticker: “If Mean People Suck, Why Isn’t My Dick In Your Mouth?

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.

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!

Chuck Klosterman

People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.

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.

Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas

Disappear, she says. I love that word.

Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth

… her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.

Blake Butler, There Is No Year

Email servers learned to laugh.

David Peace, The Damned Utd

You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.

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.

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.

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.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.

Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend

Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.

Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness

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

You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show

Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth

She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.

Joan Didion, On Self-Respect

Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.

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.

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?

Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG

She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.

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.

Aleister Crowley, Moonchild

I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.

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.

Arthur Koestler

Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.

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.

Marquis de Sade

In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.

Graham Greene

Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.

Franz Kafka

I am free and that is why I am lost.

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.

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.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.

Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries

they’re fucking up minds they do not own.

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.

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

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.

Megan Abbott, Dare Me

If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.

Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?

Niccolò Machiavelli

Never was anything great achieved without danger.

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.

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.

Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.

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.

Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man

We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.

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.

Will Christopher Baer, Penny Dreadful

A friend is like anything else. A dog, a plant. You ignore them and they tend to die on you.

Arthur Nersesian, 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

Franz Kafka

All language is but a poor translation.

Franz Kafka

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.

Jim Thompson

Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.

Aldous Huxley

There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.

Iain Banks

It’s a library, only the stupid or the evil are afraid of those

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.

Albert Camus

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

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.

Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.

George Orwell, 1984

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

Martin Amis, London Fields

And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.

Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?

George Orwell, 1984

Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.

William Golding

Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.

Richard Bachman, Rage

Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.

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.

Kathy Acker

For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.

Richard Bachman, Rage

That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Mothers are all slightly insane.

Allen Ginsberg

Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.

Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack

Nature has a pretty sick sense of humor.

William Golding

My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.

Philip K Dick

The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

Albert Camus

Live to the point of tears.

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.

Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself

Hate can be just as intimate as love.

Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Albert Camus

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.

Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack

Logic is what the devil likes most.

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.

Richard Bachman, The Long Walk

The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.

Kurt Vonnegut

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York

I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.

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.

George Orwell, 1984

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

Philip K Dick, VALIS

It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.

George Orwell, 1984

The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.

George Orwell, 1984

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

Richard Bachman, The Long Walk

None of us really has anything to lose. That makes it easier to give away.

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.

George Orwell, 1984

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

Albert Camus

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

Nick Cave

Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.

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!

George Orwell, Animal Farm

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Martin Amis, Other People

When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable

Philip K Dick

If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.

George Orwell, 1984

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

D H Lawrence

For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.

James Joyce, Ulysses

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

Martin Amis, The Information

He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.

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.

James Joyce

Shut your eyes and see.

Will Self

A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.

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.

Aldous Huxley

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.

George Orwell

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates

Dreams are manifestations of identities.

Allen Ginsberg

I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I’ll never be sane.

Poppy Z Brite

The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School

Love goes away when your mind goes away and then you’re someone else.

George Orwell, 1

Big Brother is Watching You.

Kurt Vonnegut

Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.

Will Self

I’m going to end up like one of those old weirdos who lives in a network of tunnels burrowed through trash – yet I do not fear this.

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.

Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York

I don’t like him…he makes me feel like he’s going to throw me in a coffin and walk around on top of it.

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.

Aldous Huxley

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

George Orwell, 1984

We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

Kurt Vonnegut

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.

Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden

Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.

Ray Bradbury

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

Georges Bataille, Violent Silence

I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.

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, 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.

Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

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.

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.

Jim Carroll

Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

James Joyce, Ulysses

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems

I’ll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.

Knut Hamsun, Hunger

Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.

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.

Richard Bachman, Roadwork

All places are the same unless your mind changes. There’s no magic place to get your mind right. If you feel like shit, everything you see looks like shit.

Jack Kerouac

Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.

Poppy Z Brite

Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

And so it goes…

Martin Amis

The universe is a million billion light-years wide, and every inch of it would kill you if you went there. This is the position of the universe with regards to human life.

Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving

All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.

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’.

Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge

Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.

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.

Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.

Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird

Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.

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.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.

Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.

R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree

Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.

Denis Johnson

English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground

I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground

Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.

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.

Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction

No one ever likes the right person.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.

Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

She had nothing in this world but her two hands and her crazy love for Jesus, who seemed, for his part, never to have heard of her.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.

Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?

Irvine Welsh

Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

There is no God and we are his prophets.

Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell

He looked both proud and guilty of something. As if happiness was a reward and he wasn’t sure he’d done enough to deserve it.

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.

Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell

That’s what birthdays were. Days when you found out where you stood. Who was on your side and who wasn’t. Nothing to do with how old you were.

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.

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.

Hunter S Thomson

So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?

Italo Calvino

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.

Charles Bukowski

Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.

William S Burroughs, Naked Lunch

You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative

Vladimir Nabokov

Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.

Hunter S Thomson

Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.

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.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.

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–

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.

Monica Drake, Clown Girl

The only value of wasted time is knowledge.

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.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.

Greg Levin, Sick to Death

We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.

Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.

Hunter S Thomson

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

Irvine Welsh

I’m not running away, I’m moving on.

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.

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.

Anaïs Nin

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.

Hunter S Thomson

Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.

Katherine Dunn, Geek Love

The truth is always an insult or a joke, lies are generally tastier. We love them. The nature of lies is to please. Truth has no concern for anyone’s comfort

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.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

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.

Anaïs Nin

Ordinary life does not interest me.

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.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.

Charles Bukowski, Factotum

My ambition is handicapped by laziness

Henry Miller

To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.

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.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.

R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree

Jack laughed behind him, a mirthless sound from a man who had been on the wrong end of life’s ironies too many times.

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.

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.

Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.

Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last

You have to die a few times before you can really live.

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.

Vladimir Nabokov

Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.

Henry Miller

What’s a fuck when what I want is love?

Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

J G Ballard

Fiction is a branch of neurology: the scenarios of nerve and blood vessels are the written mythologies of memory and desire.

Rupert Thomson, The Insult

There’s love and everybody talks about it, but not all of us come close to it – or, if we do, it’s not in the expected way.

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.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

I don’t want to die without any scars.

Vladimir Nabokov

My loathings are simple. stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. My pleasures are the most intense known to man: writing and butterfly hunting.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.

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.

J G Ballard

I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.

Greg Levin, The Exit Man

Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’

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, Tropic of Cancer

I have found God, but he is insufficient.

Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.

J G Ballard, Crash

After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.

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.

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.

Charles Bukowski, Barfly

I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.

Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream

He didn’t know what was defeating him, but he sensed it was something he could not cope with, something that was far beyond his power to control or even at this point in time comprehend.

Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.

Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook

…what they show tells you what they want to hide.

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.

Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

J G Ballard, Running Wild

In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.

Douglas Coupland

I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.

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.

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.

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.

Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell

She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.

Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream

I suspect there will never be a requiem for a dream, simply because it will destroy us before we have the opportunity to mourn it’s passing.

Jack Kerouac

Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.

Kathy Acker

For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.

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.

James Joyce

Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.

Allen Ginsberg

I know too much and not enough

Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself

Hate can be just as intimate as love.

Aldous Huxley

Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge

Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.

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.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?

Dennis Cooper, Frisk

Human bodies are such garbage bags.

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.

William Golding

Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.

George Orwell, Animal Farm

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

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.

Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip

I’m not much but I’m all I have.

Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York

I don’t like him…he makes me feel like he’s going to throw me in a coffin and walk around on top of it.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.

Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden

Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.

Richard Bachman, Rage

That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.

Ian McEwan, Atonement

She lay in the dark and knew everything.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.

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.

Philip K Dick, VALIS

It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.

Ian McEwan

No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.

George Orwell

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

George Orwell, 1

Big Brother is Watching You.

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

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.

Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.

Kurt Vonnegut

Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.

William Golding

My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.

Philip K Dick

If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.

George Orwell

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

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.

James Joyce, Ulysses

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

Allen Ginsberg

Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!

Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems

I’ll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.

Georges Bataille, Violent Silence

I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.

Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates

Dreams are manifestations of identities.

Albert Camus

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?

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.

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.

Knut Hamsun

Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.

Jim Carroll

Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.

George Orwell, 1984

We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

Will Self

I’m going to end up like one of those old weirdos who lives in a network of tunnels burrowed through trash – yet I do not fear this.

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.

Albert Camus

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.

Ray Bradbury

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

Georges Bataille

I don’t want your love unless you know i am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.

Iain Banks, Use of Weapons

I just think people overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.

George Orwell, 1984

Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.

Philip K Dick

The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.

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.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.

Albert Camus

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

Knut Hamsun, Hunger

Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.

Kurt Vonnegut

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

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.

Albert Camus

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

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.

Nick Cave

Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.

George Orwell, 1984

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

Martin Amis, The Information

He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.

Ray Bradbury

Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.

Ryū Murakami

She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there

Allen Ginsberg

Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.

Aldous Huxley

There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

And so it goes…

George Orwell, 1984

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

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

Poppy Z Brite

Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.

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.

Georges Bataille

In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.

George Orwell, 1984

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

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.

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’.

Philip K Dick

The problem with introspection is that it has no end.

Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack

Logic is what the devil likes most.

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.

Albert Camus

Live to the point of tears.

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.

George Orwell

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell, 1984

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

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

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.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.

Aldous Huxley

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

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.

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?

Iain Banks

It’s a library, only the stupid or the evil are afraid of those

.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.

Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell

He looked both proud and guilty of something. As if happiness was a reward and he wasn’t sure he’d done enough to deserve it.

Douglas Coupland

I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.

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.

Anthony Burgess, Homage To QwertYuiop: Essays

To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.

Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream

He didn’t know what was defeating him, but he sensed it was something he could not cope with, something that was far beyond his power to control or even at this point in time comprehend.

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–

Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

I have found God, but he is insufficient.

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.

Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation

Sooner or later, everything turns into television.

Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.

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

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?

Anaïs Nin

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

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.

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.

Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

Hunter S Thomson

Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.

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.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.

R D Ronald

Nothing says Christmas better than familicide and anaphylactic shock.

R D Ronald

Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.

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.

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.

Vladimir Nabokov

Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.

Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.

Hunter S Thomson

Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.

J G Ballard

Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.

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.

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.

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.

J G Ballard

I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.

Denis Johnson

English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.

J G Ballard, Crash

I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

We are most artistically caged.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

I have to return some videotapes

Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?

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

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

In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.

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.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.

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.

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.

William S Burroughs

Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.

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.

Italo Calvino

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.

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.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.

Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

She had nothing in this world but her two hands and her crazy love for Jesus, who seemed, for his part, never to have heard of her.

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.

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.

Charles Bukowski

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.

Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.

Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria

The time flies. The time flies feed on rotting clocks.

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.

Denis Johnson, Already Dead

I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.

Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.

Rupert Thomson, The Insult

There’s love and everybody talks about it, but not all of us come close to it – or, if we do, it’s not in the expected way.

Irvine Welsh

I’m not running away, I’m moving on.

Anthony Burgess

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.

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.

Hunter S Thomson

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.

Charles Bukowski, Barfly

I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.

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.

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, The Elephant Tree

Jack laughed behind him, a mirthless sound from a man who had been on the wrong end of life’s ironies too many times.

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.

Vladimir Nabokov

Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.

Greg Levin, Sick to Death

We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.

Gillian Flynn, Dark Places

I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.

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.

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.

Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger

Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.

William S Burroughs, Naked Lunch

You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative

William S Burroughs

Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.

Irvine Welsh, Porno

You can’t lie to your soul.

Sylvia Plath

Is there no way out of the mind?

Charles Bukowski

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

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.

Greg Levin, The Exit Man

She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.

Monica Drake, Clown Girl

The only value of wasted time is knowledge.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.

Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.

Anaïs Nin

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

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