Franz Kafka A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories Sitting on my stool I thought of a bumper sticker: “If Mean People Suck, Why Isn’t My Dick In Your Mouth?
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Life is rarely about what happened; it’s mostly about what we think happened.
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.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
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.
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.
Franz Kafka Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
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.
Joan Didion You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
Marquis de Sade Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine To begin with, I had never done any good deeds; besides, even if I had simply fabricated a few, I would not have enjoyed going on about them.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.
Lauren Sapala, Between the Shadow and Lo I told most people I was an alcoholic if they asked and some if they didn’t. I figured everyone deserved a fair chance to cut and run at the very beginning.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Joan Didion, Where I Was From I closed the box and put it in a closet.There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.
Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.
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.
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.
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.
Marquis de Sade In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
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.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year Email servers learned to laugh.
Franz Kafka I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me A weed is a plant out of place.
Joseph Conrad, Chance Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
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, 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.
Marquis de Sade It is only by way of pain one arrives at pleasure
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.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Niccolò Machiavelli I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
Franz Kafka I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arthur Nersesian, Manhattan Loverboy The masses-I love em-they rush for red lights, risking everything to capture a few seconds, only to get home and waste their lives.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
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
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.
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.
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.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
Franz Kafka I am a cage, in search of a bird.
Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four My father used to say, ‘If you want to know the artist, look at the art’. He was usually talking about Stanley Matthews or Don Bradman when he said it.
Niccolò Machiavelli Never was anything great achieved without danger.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
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.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
Chuck Klosterman People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
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 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.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
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.
Paul Neilan Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
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.
Arthur Koestler The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
Arthur Nersesian, The Fuck-Up Perhaps the price of comfort is that life passes more rapidly. But for anyone who has lived in uneasiness, even for a short, memorable duration, it’s a trade-off that will gladly be made.
Franz Kafka All language is but a poor translation.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
Blake Butler black beyond black
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.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth … her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.
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.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
Will Self Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
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.
Franz Kafka There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
David Peace, The Damned Utd You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
Marquis de Sade Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man It’s the way a man chooses to limit himself that determines his character. A man without habits, consistency, redundancy – and hence boredom – is not human. He’s insane.
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!
Jim Thompson Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
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.
Will Self, Grey Area How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
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!
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.