Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
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.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.
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 Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
J G Ballard, Crash After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
Charles Bukowski The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
R D Ronald This faulty light fitting at the front door with the dangerously flickering bulb looks rather festive. Who says I don’t do Christmas?
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.
J G Ballard Fiction is a branch of neurology: the scenarios of nerve and blood vessels are the written mythologies of memory and desire.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook …what they show tells you what they want to hide.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
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.
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.
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.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.
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.
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.
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.
Anthony Burgess, Homage To QwertYuiop: Essays To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
Chuck Palahniuk, Choke What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.
Anaïs Nin We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
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.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
Henry Miller To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
Monica Drake, The Folly of Loving Life I thought I was old, back then. I thought I was grown up. I didn’t know all my big mistakes were up ahead of me, still to come. Always.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero Disappear here
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
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.
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.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis The world is on fire; time is a bomb.Ten thousand years are not enoughWhen so much remains to be done
Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
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.
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.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
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.
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.
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.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.
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–
R D Ronald Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.
Irvine Welsh Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.
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.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club I don’t want to die without any scars.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl I asked the cardiologist why an electrocardiogram was called an EKG, instead of an ECG.He said, “Nazis. Nazis invented the machine.”After he left, I found a napkin on my breakfast tray and wrote that down: EKG = Nazis.
R D Ronald Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
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.
Charles Bukowski Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
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.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
Hunter S Thomson Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
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
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.
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.
Henry Miller The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
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
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
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.
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.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
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.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer I have found God, but he is insufficient.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
William S Burroughs Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.
Denis Johnson English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
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?
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire We are most artistically caged.