Transgressive Fiction

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Blake Butler, There Is No Year
Email servers learned to laugh.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
A weed is a plant out of place.
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.
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.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend
Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
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.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
Franz Kafka
All language is but a poor translation.
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.
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.
Marquis de Sade
Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
Franz Kafka
I am a cage, in search of a bird.
David Peace, The Damned Utd
You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
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.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer “Nothing.” The thought went through my mind that it didn’t make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy.
Chuck Klosterman
People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
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.
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.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy
Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.
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 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.
Aleister Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4
One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.
Franz Kafka
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.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
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!
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.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels
If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy
The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
Paul Auster, Invisible
You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
Joan Didion
You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
Franz Kafka
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Blake Butler
black beyond black
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.
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.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands
It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
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.
Franz Kafka
Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Megan Abbott
When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
A C Weisbecker
If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Jim Carroll
You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild
I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Graham Greene
Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
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.
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.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
Paul Auster
You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka
I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
Arthur Nersesian, Dogrun
I lay in bed and watched moments break into phenomenal particles of panic and could actually see the divine crack of God’s ass as he completely turned his back on me.
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries
they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
Arthur Koestler
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
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.
Franz Kafka, The Trial
It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo
Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG
Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG
She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
Hate is a lack of imagination.
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.
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.
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.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia
Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
Franz Kafka
Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable 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.
Franz Kafka
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect
Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine
Finally, when all was said and done, the certainty (so often experienced, yet always new) that female charms, the kind that inflame the senses, are no more than kitchen smells: they tease you when you’re hungry and disgust you when you’ve had your fill.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Disappear, she says. I love that word.
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.
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?
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.
Tanya Thompson, Assuming Names: A Con Artist’s Masquerade
From what I’d witnessed, honesty didn’t really make anyone happy. The truth was a punch to the gut, and while you were falling, a knee to the face, then you could lie on the floor and bleed for a spell.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth
… her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.
Will Christopher Baer
Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
Whenever I’m leaving I get sentimental for that nostalgia I know I won’t have the next day.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Marquis de Sade
Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
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.
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.
Aleister Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4
The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.
Paul Neilan
Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
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.
Marquis de Sade
It is only by way of pain one arrives at pleasure
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.
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’.
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
Matthew Stokoe, High Life
I’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.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
D H Lawrence, The Complete Poems
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.
William Golding, Pincher Martin
Worse than madness. Sanity.
Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden
Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.
Ray Bradbury
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.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
It is shaming sometimes, how the body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions.
Kathy Acker
For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.
Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself
Hate can be just as intimate as love.
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.
Martin Amis
The universe is a million billion light-years wide, and every inch of it would kill you if you went there. This is the position of the universe with regards to human life.
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.
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.
Nick Cave
People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
Martin Amis, London Fields
And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.
Kathy Acker
If you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you. I want everything.
Jim Carroll
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.
Iain Banks
It’s a library, only the stupid or the evil are afraid of those
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?
Allen Ginsberg
I know too much and not enough
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.
Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack
Logic is what the devil likes most.
Albert Camus
Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?
George Orwell, 1984
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
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.
George Orwell, 1
Big Brother is Watching You.
Albert Camus
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
Cowardice is the most terrible of vices.
Christa Faust
I hate malls. They’re like strip clubs for women. All tease and sparkle and the empty promise that if you just drop enough cash, somehow you’ll be fulfilled.
Knut Hamsun, Hunger
Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
George Orwell, 1984
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
Iain Banks, Use of Weapons
I just think people overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.
Kurt Vonnegut
Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
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.
Georges Bataille
The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth.
Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
Ryū Murakami
She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there
Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving
All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
George Orwell, 1984
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
Will Self
A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Aldous Huxley
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
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
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.
George Orwell, 1984
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Georges Bataille, Violent Silence
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
Poppy Z Brite
Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.
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.
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.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York
I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.
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.
D H Lawrence
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
Georges Bataille
In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.
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.
Aldous Huxley
Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
She lay in the dark and knew everything.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
Martin Amis, The Information
He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.
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
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
Dennis Cooper, Closer
Dan thought of love as defined by books, cobwebbed and hidden from view by the past. Too bad a love like that didn’t actually exist. In the twentieth century one had to fake it.
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.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Mothers are all slightly insane.
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
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.
Kathy Acker, Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia
Everytime you read, you are walking among the dead, and, if you are listening, you just might hear prophecies.
Allen Ginsberg
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
George Orwell, 1984
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
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
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
Martin Amis, Other People
When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable
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.
Richard Bachman, Rage
That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.
Nick Cave
Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.
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, Zen in the Art of Writing
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
Jack Kerouac
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.
Albert Camus
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
Philip K Dick, VALIS
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
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.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack
Nature has a pretty sick sense of humor.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
Aldous Huxley
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
George Orwell
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
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.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
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.
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.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
Nick Cave, The Death of Bunny Munro
I am damned,’ thinks Bunny Munro in a sudden moment of self-awareness reserved for those who are soon to die.
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.
D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.
Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory
Looking at me, you’d never guess I’d killed three people. It isn’t fair.
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.
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, Violent Silence
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
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
Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
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.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack
Nature has a pretty sick sense of humor.
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
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.
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.
Knut Hamsun
Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
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, The Catcher in the Rye
Mothers are all slightly insane.
George Orwell, 1984
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
William Golding
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
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, Slaughterhouse-Five
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself
Hate can be just as intimate as love.
D H Lawrence
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
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?
Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
George Orwell, Animal Farm
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
Iain Banks, Against a Dark Background
Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.
Aldous Huxley
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.
Dennis Cooper, Closer
I’m a talentless but popular young singer and I have the feeling someone is watching me. I use the term loosely because I have few feelings, and even they’re too simple, like primary colors.
Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates
Dreams are manifestations of identities.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
Will Self
I’m going to end up like one of those old weirdos who lives in a network of tunnels burrowed through trash – yet I do not fear this.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.
Kurt Vonnegut
Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.
Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School
Love goes away when your mind goes away and then you’re someone else.
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.
Allen Ginsberg
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
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.
Ian McEwan
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
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.
William Golding, Pincher Martin
Worse than madness. Sanity.
Poppy Z Brite
Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.
George Orwell
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Ryū Murakami, Coin Locker Babies
They don’t realise that they’ve changed; they think it’s the world that changed.
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York
I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.
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.
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.
James Joyce, Ulysses
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
And so it goes…
Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge
Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.
Kathy Acker
If you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you. I want everything.
Richard Bachman, Thinner
The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
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.
Ray Bradbury
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
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.
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
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.
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.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.
George Orwell, 1984
In the face of pain there are no heroes.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
James Joyce, Ulysses
Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.
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.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel
And Satan sighed and shook his head, played harp amongst the flames. ‘It’s Hell up there in Heaven too, for all that that is worth. Heaven is just a lie of mine to make it Hell on Earth.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Allen Ginsberg
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!
Poppy Z Brite
The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.
George Orwell, 1984
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
William Golding
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
Martin Amis, London Fields
And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?
George Orwell, 1
Big Brother is Watching You.
Will Self
A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.
Ryū Murakami
Everybody wants to talk about themselves, and everybody wants to hear everybody else’s story, so we take turns playing reporter and celebrity.
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.
Nick Cave
Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.
George Orwell
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
Georges Bataille
I don’t want your love unless you know i am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
Will Self
Schadenfreude is so nutritious.
Iain Banks, Use of Weapons
I just think people overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.
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.
Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
Irvine Welsh
I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life
A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
J G Ballard, Crash
After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
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.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Douglas Coupland
I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects
The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
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.
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.
Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief
I don’t deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead
I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
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
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.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction
No one ever likes the right person.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
…what they show tells you what they want to hide.
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.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
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.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
I have to return some videotapes
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.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
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.
Henry Miller
What’s a fuck when what I want is love?
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
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
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.
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.
J G Ballard, Crash
I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.
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.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis
Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
And therefore I looked down into the great pity of a person’s life on this earth. I don’t mean that we all end up dead, that’s not the great pity. I mean that he couldn’t tell me what he was dreaming, and I couldn’t tell him what was real.
Sylvia Plath
Is there no way out of the mind?
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.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
Anthony Burgess
Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
But what I do I do because I like to do.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I don’t want to die without any scars.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream
I suspect there will never be a requiem for a dream, simply because it will destroy us before we have the opportunity to mourn it’s passing.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
R D Ronald
I’m the biggest critic of my own work, but sometimes you nail a chapter so good that you have to take a step back and admire that bitch.
Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last
You have to die a few times before you can really live.
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.
Charles Bukowski
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
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, Homage To QwertYuiop: Essays
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream
Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.
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.
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria
The time flies. The time flies feed on rotting clocks.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
He never praised me whenever I’d hit a home run in little league, but I kill a few people and all of the sudden I’m his idol.
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
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
Vladimir Nabokov
Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
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.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
I have found God, but he is insufficient.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
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.
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.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
When life sucks, throw yourself into art.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
William S Burroughs
Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
Hunter S Thomson
Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
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.
Henry Miller
To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
Italo Calvino
Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.
J G Ballard
Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
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.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
There is no God and we are his prophets.
Vladimir Nabokov
Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.

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