Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
Marquis de Sade To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.
Arthur Koestler Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
Jim Thompson Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
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?
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.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer and other stories Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank — but that’s not the same thing.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine I was terrified as only grown men and women can be when they wake in the middle of the night and begin to realize, in the absolute silence and solitude all around them, that it is not only their dream that has woken them, that it is their whole way of life.
A C Weisbecker, Cosmic Banditos Either the present part of the story slowed down a bit and waited for the past part to catch up, or the past part speeded up and overtook the present part.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin 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.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
Franz Kafka Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
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.
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.
Marquis de Sade It is only by way of pain one arrives at pleasure
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.
Will Self, Grey Area How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
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.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Joseph Conrad, Chance Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
Franz Kafka A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
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.
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.
A C Weisbecker If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Niccolò Machiavelli I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
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?
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
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, Invisible You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Lionel Shriver, 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.
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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Disappear, she says. I love that word.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
Franz Kafka There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
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.
Marquis de Sade Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
Blake Butler black beyond black
Tanya Thompson, Assuming Names: A Con Artist’s Masquerade From what I’d witnessed, honesty didn’t really make anyone happy. The truth was a punch to the gut, and while you were falling, a knee to the face, then you could lie on the floor and bleed for a spell.
Franz Kafka The meaning of life is that it stops.
Megan Abbott, You Will Know Me Because there’s a hundred ways sex can ruin you but there’s no end to the ways love can.
Franz Kafka I am a cage, in search of a bird.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.
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!
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
Franz Kafka I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Graham Greene Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four My father used to say, ‘If you want to know the artist, look at the art’. He was usually talking about Stanley Matthews or Don Bradman when he said it.
Niccolò Machiavelli Never was anything great achieved without danger.
Franz Kafka, The Trial It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
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.
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.
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.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
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.
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.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year Email servers learned to laugh.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness We live as we dream–alone….
Chuck Klosterman People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Thomas Pluck, Dark City Lights I worked all day in back of a hot van snipping off dog balls, I can cut one more pair.
Lauren Sapala, Between the Shadow and Lo Better than drugs that don’t last and more solid than gold, vaginas allow women to move about unmolested, in a way that men can only dream of.
Marquis de Sade Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.
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 When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
Franz Kafka Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel–it is, before all, to make you see.
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.
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 Carroll You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Every relationship is fundamentally a power struggle, and the individual in power is whoever likes the other person less.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me Ages fourteen to eighteen, a girl needs something to kill all that time, that endless itchy waiting, every hour, every day for something — anything — to begin.