Transgressive Fiction

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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.
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.
Marquis de Sade
In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy
The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
Marquis de Sade
Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
Blake Butler, There Is No Year
Email servers learned to laugh.
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.
Blake Butler
black beyond black
Paul Neilan
Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun
This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels
If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
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.
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.
Will Christopher Baer
Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
Franz Kafka
I am a cage, in search of a bird.
A C Weisbecker
If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG
She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
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.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies
All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are.
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!
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.
Joan Didion, Where I Was From
I closed the box and put it in a closet.There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.
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.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Chance
Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
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.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
Franz Kafka
Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
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.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo
Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
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.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia
Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
A weed is a plant out of place.
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!
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?
Joan Didion
You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
Franz Kafka
There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
Arthur Koestler
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Paul Auster, Invisible
You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
Will Christopher Baer, Penny Dreadful
A friend is like anything else. A dog, a plant. You ignore them and they tend to die on you.
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.
Franz Kafka
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
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.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
Franz Kafka
I am free and that is why I am lost.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend
Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Stephen Graham Jones, The Least of My Scars
Don’t let anybody ever tell you life’s fair. Not as long as I’m in it.
Niccolò Machiavelli
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man
We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
Niccolò Machiavelli
I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
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.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect
Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Lionel Shriver, Checker and the Derailleurs
A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it.
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.
Franz Kafka
All language is but a poor translation.
Joan Didion
I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
Graham Greene, The End of the Affair
It’s a strange thing to discover and to believe that you are loved when you know that there is nothing in you for anybody but a parent or a God to love.
Blake Butler, Three Hundred Million
Blood helicopters chopped across my slim cerebrum like fresh diamonds, rings in screaming on small hands coming awake inside my linings, each after its own way to reach beyond me.
Franz Kafka
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Marquis de Sade
Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
Stephen Graham Jones, After the People Lights Have Gone Off
Each moment, the world washes its hands of you, starts all over again. Easy as that. Wonderful as that.
Graham Greene
Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Disappear, she says. I love that word.
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.
Will Self, Grey Area
How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
Chuck Klosterman
People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild
I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Paul Auster
You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.
Arthur Koestler, Drinkers of Infinity: Essays 1955-1967
Creative activity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
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.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
Hate is a lack of imagination.
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.
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
The meaning of life is that it stops.
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.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four
Uncle Eric holding court, proud the only time he ever left Yorkshire was to kill Germans.
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.
Megan Abbott
When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
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.
James Joyce
All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
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.
Albert Camus
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Ray Bradbury
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Philip K Dick, A Scanner Darkly
I have seen myself backward.
Poppy Z Brite
Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.
George Orwell
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
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
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
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.
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.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
She lay in the dark and knew everything.
Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge
Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
Ryū Murakami
She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there
Aldous Huxley
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
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.
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.
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.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Aldous Huxley
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
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.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.
Albert Camus
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Dennis Cooper, Frisk
Human bodies are such garbage bags.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
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.
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.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
James Joyce, Ulysses
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
George Orwell
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems
I’ll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.
Martin Amis, House of Meetings
Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.
Richard Bachman, Rage
That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow.
Philip K Dick
If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself
Hate can be just as intimate as love.
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.
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.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?
Allen Ginsberg
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
Allen Ginsberg
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!
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.
Martin Amis, Other People
When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable
George Orwell, 1
Big Brother is Watching You.
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’.
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
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Jack Kerouac
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
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.
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
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.
Philip K Dick
The problem with introspection is that it has no end.
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.
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.
Aldous Huxley
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
Richard Bachman, Thinner
The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
George Orwell, 1984
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
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.
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.
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.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.
Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
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?
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.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
George Orwell
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Georges Bataille
The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth.
Allen Ginsberg
I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I’ll never be sane.
George Orwell
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Allen Ginsberg
I know too much and not enough
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.
Georges Bataille
In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.
Will Self
A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.
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, Pussy, King of the Pirates
Dreams are manifestations of identities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life
A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
I have to return some videotapes
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.
Irvine Welsh
I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
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.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
Charles Bukowski
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?
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.
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.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
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.
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.
Henry Miller
What’s a fuck when what I want is love?
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.
Anaïs Nin
Ordinary life does not interest me.
Irvine Welsh, Porno
You can’t lie to your soul.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly
I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
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, Running Wild
In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria
The time flies. The time flies feed on rotting clocks.
Bret Easton Ellis
Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.
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.
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.
Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
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.
R D Ronald
I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
Charles Bukowski
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation
Sooner or later, everything turns into television.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
That’s what birthdays were. Days when you found out where you stood. Who was on your side and who wasn’t. Nothing to do with how old you were.
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
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
…what they show tells you what they want to hide.
Anaïs Nin
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
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.
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, 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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.
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
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
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.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects
The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
When life sucks, throw yourself into art.
Italo Calvino
Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.
R D Ronald
Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
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.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
Giving presents is one of the most possessive things we do, did you realize that? It’s the way we keep a hold on other people. Plant ourselves in their lives.
J G Ballard, Crash
After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
They thought to use and shame me but I win out by nature, because a true freak cannot be made. A true freak must be born.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
Sylvia Plath
Is there no way out of the mind?
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
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.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
The fig tree had dropped its fruit all over the ground. Ripe figs lay in the dust, exploded, bloody, as if the sky had rained organs.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
I have found God, but he is insufficient.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
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
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.
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.
Hunter S Thomson, Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
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–
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction
No one ever likes the right person.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
There is no God and we are his prophets.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.
Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last
You have to die a few times before you can really live.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?
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.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov
Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
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.
Georges Bataille
The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
Cowardice is the most terrible of vices.
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Kurt Vonnegut
Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him 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.
Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving
All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.
D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
Philip K Dick
The problem with introspection is that it has no end.
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.
Martin Amis, Other People
When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable
Nick Cave
Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.
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
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
It is shaming sometimes, how the body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions.
Aldous Huxley
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
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.
Poppy Z Brite
Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.
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.
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.
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.
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.
James Joyce
Shut your eyes and see.
William Golding
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.
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.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
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.
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.
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.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
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.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow.
Aldous Huxley
Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
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.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
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.
Ian McEwan
No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
Richard Bachman, Thinner
The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
Allen Ginsberg
I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I’ll never be sane.
George Orwell, 1984
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
Martin Amis, The Information
He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.
Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack
Nature has a pretty sick sense of humor.
Kathy Acker
If you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you. I want everything.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Mothers are all slightly insane.
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.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York
I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.
George Orwell, 1984
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Iain Banks, Use of Weapons
I just think people overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.
Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
William Golding
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
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.
Albert Camus
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
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.
Philip K Dick
If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.
Allen Ginsberg
Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.
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.
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
In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.
James Joyce
Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.
George Orwell
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
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.
Jim Carroll
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.
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.
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
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.
Allen Ginsberg
I know too much and not enough
Kurt Vonnegut
Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
Philip K Dick, A Scanner Darkly
I have seen myself backward.
Knut Hamsun
Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge
Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.
Poppy Z Brite
The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.
Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
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.
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.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
And so it goes…
Georges Bataille
I don’t want your love unless you know i am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.
Iain Banks
Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
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.
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’.
J G Ballard
Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
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
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.
J G Ballard, Running Wild
In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
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
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?
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.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
They thought to use and shame me but I win out by nature, because a true freak cannot be made. A true freak must be born.
Henry Miller
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly
I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
When life sucks, throw yourself into art.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite 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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I don’t want to die without any scars.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Post Office
I wanted the whole world or nothing.
Douglas Coupland
I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
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.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
Disappear here
Denis Johnson, Already Dead
I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
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.
Rupert Thomson, Secrecy
Perhaps there comes a time in your life when you lose the ability to command attention, when the world starts to ignore you because it no longer believes you can have much of an effect on it.
R D Ronald
I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
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.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis
The world is on fire; time is a bomb.Ten thousand years are not enoughWhen so much remains to be done
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.
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.
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.
J G Ballard, Crash
After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
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.
R D Ronald
Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.
Bret Easton Ellis
Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
Giving presents is one of the most possessive things we do, did you realize that? It’s the way we keep a hold on other people. Plant ourselves in their lives.
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground
I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
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
My loathings are simple. stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. My pleasures are the most intense known to man: writing and butterfly hunting.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
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.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
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.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov
Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
But what I do I do because I like to do.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
J G Ballard, Crash
I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
William S Burroughs
Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
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.
Charles Bukowski
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
I have to return some videotapes
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
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.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
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.
Hunter S Thomson
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
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.
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
When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
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.
Anaïs Nin
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
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.

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