Blake Butler, Scorch Atlas Overhead the sky was melting, the cracked cream color rubbing off in cogs of brine.The fields far ahead of me in endless pudding, studded here and there with what had been: homes and houses, hair and heirlooms, habits, hallways, hauntings, hope.
Arthur Nersesian, Dogrun I lay in bed and watched moments break into phenomenal particles of panic and could actually see the divine crack of God’s ass as he completely turned his back on me.
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.
Franz Kafka Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
Franz Kafka Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
Megan Abbott When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
Niccolò Machiavelli I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy In other words: It seems to me that I will always be happy in the place where I am not. Or, more bluntly: Wherever I am not is the place where I am myself. Or else, taking the bull by the horns: Anywhere out of the world.
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.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
Chuck Klosterman People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
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, 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.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It’s like someone who prays every night saying God’s a good listener. Just because you’re talking to us doesn’t mean we’re listening. With me and God, you never really know.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
Marquis de Sade Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
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.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me A weed is a plant out of place.
Graham Greene Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
Franz Kafka I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
Joseph Conrad, Chance Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine And if all womankind banded together and took the male path, the world would turn into one huge brothel.
Graham Greene, The Ministry of Fear But it is impossible to go through life without trust; that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Paul 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.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness We live as we dream–alone….
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.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
Megan Abbott, Dare Me There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
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.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
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.
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.
Graham Greene, The End of the Affair It’s a strange thing to discover and to believe that you are loved when you know that there is nothing in you for anybody but a parent or a God to love.
Franz Kafka, The Trial It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
Franz Kafka All language is but a poor translation.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
Thomas Pluck, Dark City Lights I worked all day in back of a hot van snipping off dog balls, I can cut one more pair.
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.
David Peace, The Damned Utd You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
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!
Luke Rhinehart There is something fundamentally wrong with the way we normally live our lives and we’d sort of like to find out what it is.
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies When a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappear. For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas I am so stupid, so easily fooled. It’s really almost funny. If I could lift a finger I would gladly kill myself.
Paul Auster, Invisible You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
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.
Paul Neilan Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
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!
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
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.
Franz Kafka I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four I was miles and years away and then suddenly aware my hour was at hand, feeling all their eyes on me.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
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 Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Arthur Koestler, Drinkers of Infinity: Essays 1955-1967 Creative activity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
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.
Will Self, Grey Area How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
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.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness
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.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four Uncle Eric holding court, proud the only time he ever left Yorkshire was to kill Germans.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth … her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Disappear, she says. I love that word.
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.
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.
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.
Joan Didion You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are.
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.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
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
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.
Arthur Koestler Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
Will Christopher Baer Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
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.
Arthur Koestler The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
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.
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, The Prince Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
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.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
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