Transgressive Fiction

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Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
A weed is a plant out of place.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Franz Kafka
There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
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.
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.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels
If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
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.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer “Nothing.” The thought went through my mind that it didn’t make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild
I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Marquis de Sade
In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia
Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer and other stories
Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank — but that’s not the same thing.
Paul Auster, Oracle Night
It always stimulates me to discover new examples of my own prejudice and stupidity, to realize that I don’t know half as much as I think I do.
Will Christopher Baer
Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
Niccolò Machiavelli
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
David Peace, The Damned Utd
You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
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.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka, The Trial
It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
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
Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
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!
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
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.
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.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
I kissed her, a long hard kiss. Because baby didn’t know it, but baby was dead, and in a way I couldn’t have loved her more.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
Hate is a lack of imagination.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect
Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Franz Kafka
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Joan Didion
You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
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.
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.
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.
Lionel Shriver, Checker and the Derailleurs
A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
Niccolò Machiavelli
I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
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.
Paul Auster, Invisible
You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
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.
A C Weisbecker
If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year
Email servers learned to laugh.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth
Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend
Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Will Self
Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
Arthur Koestler
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy
Kugel was a firm believer that death was not always a bad thing – that life often reached such levels of crapitude that dying was preferable to living.
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.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo
Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
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.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
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.
Franz Kafka
I am free and that is why I am lost.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story
Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.
Paul Neilan
Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
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
Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
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.
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries
they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth
She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine
To begin with, I had never done any good deeds; besides, even if I had simply fabricated a few, I would not have enjoyed going on about them.
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.
Megan Abbott
When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
Franz Kafka
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands
It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
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.
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.
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
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Jim Carroll
You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
Joseph Conrad, Chance
Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Disappear, she says. I love that word.
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.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four
Uncle Eric holding court, proud the only time he ever left Yorkshire was to kill Germans.
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.
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.
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.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
It is shaming sometimes, how the body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions.
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.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
She lay in the dark and knew everything.
Albert Camus
Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?
Martin Amis, London Fields
And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.
Will Self
Schadenfreude is so nutritious.
Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel
Listen, ah don’t wanna speak ill of the dead but have ah told you that mah mother was a great whopping whale of a cunt? Well she was precisely that – a great whopping whale of a hog’s cunt with a dirty maggot for a brain.
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.
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.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
Cowardice is the most terrible of vices.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
James Joyce, Ulysses
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
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.
Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems
I’ll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.
George Orwell, 1984
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
Aldous Huxley
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
Allen Ginsberg
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!
George Orwell, 1984
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Albert Camus
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
Nick Cave
Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.
George Orwell, 1984
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
Jack Kerouac
I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
Albert Camus
Live to the point of tears.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
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’.
George Orwell, 1984
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
Georges Bataille
In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
Thus it is that no cruelty whatsoever passes by without impact. Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.
D H Lawrence
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
Allen Ginsberg
I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I’ll never be sane.
Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano
I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
Aldous Huxley
Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
Ray Bradbury
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
And so it goes…
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.
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.
Alissa Nutting, Tampa
His eyes took in the details of my body with a conflicted gaze that I knew well: even having seen all the facts of the case, he still wanted me. He wanted me despite knowing what that meant about him.
Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge
Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
George Orwell, 1984
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
Georges Bataille, Violent Silence
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
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.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
James Joyce
Shut your eyes and see.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut
Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.
George Orwell
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.
Philip K Dick
The problem with introspection is that it has no end.
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.
Ian McEwan
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
Iain Banks, Use of Weapons
I just think people overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.
George Orwell, 1984
In the face of pain there are no heroes.
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.
Poppy Z Brite, Wormwood: A Collection of Short Stories
You hold onto what you have; you do not give it up easily, even when you know it is poisoning you.
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.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
When a child grows old enough to know J.R.R. Tolkien was just staring at a typewriter, the truth can be a wounding exposé.
Jim Carroll
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
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.
Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack
Nature has a pretty sick sense of humor.
Knut Hamsun, Hunger
…I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye.
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.
Knut Hamsun
Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
George Orwell, 1984
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving
All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.
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.
William Golding
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.
George Orwell
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
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.
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York
I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.
William Golding, Pincher Martin
Worse than madness. Sanity.
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.
William Golding
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar’s vile tongue be cut out! Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!
Ian McEwan, 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.
Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point
I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.
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
Jack Kerouac
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.
D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.
James Joyce
All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Denis Johnson
English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.
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.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your ‘soul mate’ you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
But what I do I do because I like to do.
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.
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
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.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
Disappear here
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria
The time flies. The time flies feed on rotting clocks.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I don’t want to die without any scars.
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.
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.
Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation
Sooner or later, everything turns into television.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.
R D Ronald
Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
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?
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.
Italo Calvino
Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.
R D Ronald
Nothing says Christmas better than familicide and anaphylactic shock.
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
One week I’m helping to end a life, the next I’m stepping in to save one. Seemingly dichotomous acts, but actually one in the same.
Charles Bukowski
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria
Everything in the universe is everything else. A man is a killer is a saint is a monkey is a cockroach is a goldfish is a whale, and the Devil is just the angel who asked for More.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
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.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
Anaïs Nin
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
Anaïs Nin
How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
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.
William S Burroughs
A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. A psychotic is a guy who’s just found out what’s going on.
Anaïs Nin
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
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.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly
I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
Anthony Burgess, Homage To QwertYuiop: Essays
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
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.
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.
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.
J G Ballard, Running Wild
In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
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.
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.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects
The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.
Sylvia Plath
Is there no way out of the mind?
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–
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
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.
Anaïs Nin
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
J G Ballard
Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
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.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
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).
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
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.
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
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.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
Giving presents is one of the most possessive things we do, did you realize that? It’s the way we keep a hold on other people. Plant ourselves in their lives.
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
That’s why Twinkle likes the place so much, Scott thought, looking around at the faded wood veneer tables, and the faded souls drinking at them. Misery was soaked through the place like the old beer soaked through its carpets.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
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.
William S Burroughs
Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
Rupert Thomson, Secrecy
Perhaps there comes a time in your life when you lose the ability to command attention, when the world starts to ignore you because it no longer believes you can have much of an effect on it.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
I knew every raindrop by its name.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
Sometimes what I wouldn’t give to have us sitting in a bar again at 9:00 a.m. telling lies to one another, far from God.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead
I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
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.
Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last
You have to die a few times before you can really live.
Hunter S Thomson
Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
Irvine Welsh
I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
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.
Douglas Coupland
I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
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.
Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
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.
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
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.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.
Albert Camus
Live to the point of tears.
George Orwell, 1984
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?
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.
Poppy Z Brite
Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.
Aldous Huxley
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
Jim Carroll
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.
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.
Nick Cave
People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
Georges Bataille, Violent Silence
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
William Golding
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
Martin Amis, House of Meetings
Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
George Orwell, 1984
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
Philip K Dick
If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.
D H Lawrence
Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.
Richard Bachman, Thinner
The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
Ian McEwan
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
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.
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.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.
Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup
… The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different than the sort you know you’ll get through if you just hang in there
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
When a child grows old enough to know J.R.R. Tolkien was just staring at a typewriter, the truth can be a wounding exposé.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
Will Self
Schadenfreude is so nutritious.
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.
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
She lay in the dark and knew everything.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
And so it goes…
Jack Kerouac
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.
George Orwell, Animal Farm
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
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?
Albert Camus
Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?
William Golding, Pincher Martin
Worse than madness. Sanity.
Nick Cave
Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
D H Lawrence
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
George Orwell
Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
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.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow.
Georges Bataille
I don’t want your love unless you know i am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.
Allen Ginsberg
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
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.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!
George Orwell, 1984
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
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.
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.
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!
James Joyce, Ulysses
Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Poppy Z Brite, Lost Souls
If you want something, you don’t wait for the world to deal it out for you. You take it.
George Orwell, 1984
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
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.
Knut Hamsun, Hunger
Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.
Iain Banks
Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot
George Orwell, 1
Big Brother is Watching You.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Mothers are all slightly insane.
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.
Martin Amis, Other People
When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable
George Orwell
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
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.
James Joyce, Ulysses
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
Richard Bachman, Rage
That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.
Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
George Orwell, 1984
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
Kurt Vonnegut
Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.
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.
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.
Aldous Huxley
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
George Orwell
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Jack Kerouac
I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
Poppy Z Brite
The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.
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.
Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself
Hate can be just as intimate as love.
George Orwell, 1984
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.
Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates
Dreams are manifestations of identities.
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.
D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead
I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
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, 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.
Douglas Coupland
I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
William S Burroughs
Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
Charles Bukowski
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
…what they show tells you what they want to hide.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
There is no God and we are his prophets.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
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.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
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.
William S Burroughs
Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.
William S Burroughs
In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I don’t want to die without any scars.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Rupert Thomson, Secrecy
Perhaps there comes a time in your life when you lose the ability to command attention, when the world starts to ignore you because it no longer believes you can have much of an effect on it.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
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–
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
Henry Miller
What’s a fuck when what I want is love?
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.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
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.
J G Ballard
Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
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.
Sylvia Plath
Is there no way out of the mind?
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
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.
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.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.
Hunter S Thomson
Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
Hunter S Thomson
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
William S Burroughs
A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. A psychotic is a guy who’s just found out what’s going on.
Vladimir Nabokov
Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
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.
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.
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.
Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your ‘soul mate’ you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.
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.
Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation
Sooner or later, everything turns into television.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
I have to return some videotapes
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.
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.
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.
Irvine Welsh, Porno
You can’t lie to your soul.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
Vladimir Nabokov
Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
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.
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting
By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be.
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.
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.
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.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
That’s why Twinkle likes the place so much, Scott thought, looking around at the faded wood veneer tables, and the faded souls drinking at them. Misery was soaked through the place like the old beer soaked through its carpets.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
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.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
Italo Calvino
Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.
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?
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
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.
Anaïs Nin
Ordinary life does not interest me.
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.
J G Ballard, Crash
After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
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.
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.
Anaïs Nin
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
We are most artistically caged.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
Irvine Welsh
I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis
The world is on fire; time is a bomb.Ten thousand years are not enoughWhen so much remains to be done
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
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.
Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
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.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
Eroticize intelligence.
Henry Miller
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
J G Ballard, Crash
I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.

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