Transgressive Fiction

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Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
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.
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.
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG
Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies
Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Paul Auster, Invisible
You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
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, Chance
Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
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.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
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.
Franz Kafka
I am free and that is why I am lost.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG
She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia
Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
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?
Niccolò Machiavelli
I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
Franz Kafka
There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
Paul Neilan
Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
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.
Chuck Klosterman
People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
Niccolò Machiavelli
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
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.
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.
Marquis de Sade
Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
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.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
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.
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.
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.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
A weed is a plant out of place.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Disappear, she says. I love that word.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth
She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect
Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
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.
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!
Franz Kafka
Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
Paul Auster
You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.
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.
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.
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.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun
This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Marquis de Sade
It is only by way of pain one arrives at pleasure
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
Every relationship is fundamentally a power struggle, and the individual in power is whoever likes the other person less.
Graham Greene, Ways of Escape
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
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.
Franz Kafka
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Franz Kafka
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Jim Thompson
Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
Will Self, Grey Area
How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend
Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Jim Carroll
You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
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.
A C Weisbecker
If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man
We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
Graham Greene, The Ministry of Fear
But it is impossible to go through life without trust; that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy
The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries
they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
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.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy
Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
We live as we dream–alone….
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.
David Peace, The Damned Utd
You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands
It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
Will Self
Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
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.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year
Email servers learned to laugh.
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.
Arthur Nersesian, Dogrun
Nowadays the standards had plummeted so far that I failed even at being a failure. I silently packed up. Nothing else was left. They had even robbed me of self-pity
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.
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, 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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild
I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
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.
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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
Franz Kafka
All language is but a poor translation.
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.
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.
Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems
I’ll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
Kurt Vonnegut
Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.
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.
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.
Albert Camus
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
Nick Cave
Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.
Knut Hamsun
Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
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, Slaughterhouse-Five
How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
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.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
George Orwell, 1984
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
Richard Bachman, Rage
That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.
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.
D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.
Allen Ginsberg
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
Philip K Dick
The problem with introspection is that it has no end.
Allen Ginsberg
Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.
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.
Albert Camus
Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?
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.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
It is shaming sometimes, how the body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions.
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
Ryū Murakami
She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there
Iain Banks
It’s a library, only the stupid or the evil are afraid of those
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge
Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates
Dreams are manifestations of identities.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
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
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
Aldous Huxley
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.
Kurt Vonnegut
Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.
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.
Nick Cave
People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?
Albert Camus
Live to the point of tears.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
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.
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.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!
Richard Bachman, Thinner
The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
None of us really has anything to lose. That makes it easier to give away.
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.
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.
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.
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
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.
Albert Camus
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
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.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
George Orwell, 1984
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
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.
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.
Kathy Acker
If you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you. I want everything.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
Cowardice is the most terrible of vices.
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.
Will Self
A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.
George Orwell
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
Allen Ginsberg
I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I’ll never be sane.
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.
Martin Amis, The Information
He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.
Ryū Murakami, Coin Locker Babies
They don’t realise that they’ve changed; they think it’s the world that changed.
George Orwell, 1984
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
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.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
I know too much and not enough
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.
Jack Kerouac
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.
Ian McEwan
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
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.
Aldous Huxley
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
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.
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
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.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
My ambition is handicapped by laziness
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.
Irvine Welsh, Porno
You can’t lie to your soul.
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.
William S Burroughs
In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.
Anaïs Nin
Ordinary life does not interest me.
Anaïs Nin
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life
A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
We are most artistically caged.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?
Hunter S Thomson
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
J G Ballard, Running Wild
In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
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.
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
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’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
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.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground
I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
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.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
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.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction
No one ever likes the right person.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.
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.
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.
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.
Hunter S Thomson
Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
William S Burroughs
Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
I knew every raindrop by its name.
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?
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
I say I’m fine. I tell him I’ll be back to my old self once we’re getting handcuffed in Phnom Penh.
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.
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, Lolita
It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
We were left with nothing because of a love like acid that ate its way through our entire family.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
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.
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, American Psycho
All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis
Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.
Hunter S Thomson
Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
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 People Look Like Flowers at Last
You have to die a few times before you can really live.
J G Ballard
Fiction is a branch of neurology: the scenarios of nerve and blood vessels are the written mythologies of memory and desire.
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).
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.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
R D Ronald
I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
I have found God, but he is insufficient.
Irvine Welsh
I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
R D Ronald
Nothing says Christmas better than familicide and anaphylactic shock.
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–
Charles Bukowski, Barfly
I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
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.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Vladimir Nabokov
Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.
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.
J G Ballard
Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria
The time flies. The time flies feed on rotting clocks.
William S Burroughs
There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.
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.
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
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
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.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
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.
J G Ballard, Crash
I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.
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.
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.
Albert Camus
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Dennis Cooper, Frisk
Human bodies are such garbage bags.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
It is shaming sometimes, how the body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions.
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.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
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.
Aldous Huxley
Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
Poppy Z Brite
The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.
George Orwell
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
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.
Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge
Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
James Joyce
Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
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.
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.
Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving
All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.
Knut Hamsun, Hunger
Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.
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.
Kathy Acker
For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.
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?
George Orwell, 1
Big Brother is Watching You.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.
Kurt Vonnegut
Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.
Philip K Dick
If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.
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
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
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.
William Golding, Pincher Martin
Worse than madness. Sanity.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
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.
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York
I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.
Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory
Looking at me, you’d never guess I’d killed three people. It isn’t fair.
Nick Cave
People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
Iain Banks, Against a Dark Background
Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.
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.
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!
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.
George Orwell
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
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.
Aldous Huxley
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Iain Banks
Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot
Martin Amis, The Information
He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.
Ian McEwan
Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion and the beginning of morality
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Aldous Huxley
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Mothers are all slightly insane.
Aldous Huxley
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
Ryū Murakami
She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there
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.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
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.
Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School
Love goes away when your mind goes away and then you’re someone else.
Martin Amis, London Fields
And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.
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.
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.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
George Orwell, 1984
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.
Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself
Hate can be just as intimate as love.
Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup
When you’re a kid, getting lost isn’t just an event or a situation, it’s like a career move. You get this thrill of anxiety and fear and a feeling that you’ve done something that can never be undone.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
Richard Bachman, Rage
That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.
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.
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, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems
I’ll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.
Knut Hamsun
Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
William Golding
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.
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.
Georges Bataille
In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.
George Orwell, 1984
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
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.
Jack Kerouac
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.
George Orwell, 1984
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
Jim Carroll
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.
Ian McEwan
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
Will Self
Schadenfreude is so nutritious.
Martin Amis, Other People
When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable
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
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.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
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.
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.
R D Ronald
Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.
Italo Calvino
Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.
Henry Miller
What’s a fuck when what I want is love?
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.
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
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.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
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.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground
I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.
J G Ballard, Crash
After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
J G Ballard, Running Wild
In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
Irvine Welsh, Porno
You can’t lie to your soul.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.
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.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
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
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.
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.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead
I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
Henry Miller
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
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.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
Eroticize intelligence.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
There is no God and we are his prophets.
William S Burroughs
There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.
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.
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
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
Charles Bukowski
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
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
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.
Irvine Welsh
I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
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
Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
R D Ronald
I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Anaïs Nin
Ordinary life does not interest me.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
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.
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
Hunter S Thomson
Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov
Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
I have to return some videotapes
Henry Miller
To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
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.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
…what they show tells you what they want to hide.
William S Burroughs
Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.
Hunter S Thomson
Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.
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.
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.
Douglas Coupland
I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.
R D Ronald
Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction
No one ever likes the right person.
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).
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
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.
Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation
Sooner or later, everything turns into television.
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.
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
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
But what I do I do because I like to do.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
The craggy lines that made up the character in his face now seemed like scars of defeat, inflicted on him over time.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief
I don’t deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts.
William S Burroughs
Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
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.
Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
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
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.

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