Transgressive Fiction

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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.

Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries

they’re fucking up minds they do not own.

Megan Abbott, Dare Me

There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.

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.

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

Disappear, she says. I love that word.

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.

Franz Kafka

I am a cage, in search of a bird.

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.

Paul Auster

You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.

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

Jim Thompson

Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.

Niccolò Machiavelli

I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.

Franz Kafka

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.

Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories

If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.

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.

Joseph Conrad, Chance

Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.

Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.

Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon

History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations

Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.

Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend

Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.

David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four

I was miles and years away and then suddenly aware my hour was at hand, feeling all their eyes on me.

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.

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.

Franz Kafka

I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.

Chuck Klosterman

People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.

Franz Kafka, The Trial

It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.

Franz Kafka

I am free and that is why I am lost.

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.

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.

Megan Abbott

When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.

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.

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.

David Peace, The Damned Utd

You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.

Blake Butler

black beyond black

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.

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.

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.

Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth

… her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.

Paul Auster, Invisible

You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.

Will Self

Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.

Franz Kafka

I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas

And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.

Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels

If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager

Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo

Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.

Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man

Tell me the manner in which a patient commits suicide and I’ll tell you how he can be cured

Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia

Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Carroll

You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show

Lauren Sapala, Between the Shadow and Lo

I told most people I was an alcoholic if they asked and some if they didn’t. I figured everyone deserved a fair chance to cut and run at the very beginning.

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.

Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness

Franz Kafka

There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.

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.

Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.

Marquis de Sade

Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.

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.

Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy

Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.

Paul Neilan

Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.

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.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.

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.

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.

Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG

Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?

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.

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?

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!

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.

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.

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.

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.

Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands

It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes

Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

Hate is a lack of imagination.

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.

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.

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.

Franz Kafka

All language is but a poor translation.

Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me

A weed is a plant out of place.

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!

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.

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.

Joan Didion, On Self-Respect

Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.

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.

Franz Kafka

The meaning of life is that it stops.

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.

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.

Marquis de Sade

Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.

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.

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.

Albert Camus

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey

I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.

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.

Poppy Z Brite

Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

James Joyce, Ulysses

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.

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.

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.

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.

Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack

Logic is what the devil likes most.

Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

Richard Bachman, The Long Walk

The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.

Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel

Listen, ah don’t wanna speak ill of the dead but have ah told you that mah mother was a great whopping whale of a cunt? Well she was precisely that – a great whopping whale of a hog’s cunt with a dirty maggot for a brain.

James Joyce, Ulysses

And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.

Knut Hamsun

Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.

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.

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.

Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York

I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?

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.

D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.

James Joyce, Ulysses

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

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.

Kurt Vonnegut

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.

Poppy Z Brite

The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.

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 loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.

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.

Will Self

Schadenfreude is so nutritious.

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.

Jim Carroll

Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.

Kathy Acker

For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.

William Golding

Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.

James Joyce, Ulysses

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

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

I don’t want your love unless you know i am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.

Iain Banks, Against a Dark Background

Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Mothers are all slightly insane.

George Orwell, Animal Farm

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

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!

Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm

Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?

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

Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.

Albert Camus

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?

Allen Ginsberg

I know too much and not enough

Philip K Dick, VALIS

It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.

Albert Camus

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Kurt Vonnegut

Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.

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.

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.

Ryū Murakami, Coin Locker Babies

They don’t realise that they’ve changed; they think it’s the world that changed.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

William Golding, Pincher Martin

Worse than madness. Sanity.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.

Allen Ginsberg

Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.

Nick Cave

I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.

Georges Bataille, Violent Silence

I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.

George Orwell, 1984

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

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.

Ray Bradbury

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Aldous Huxley

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.

Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Philip K Dick

The problem with introspection is that it has no end.

Georges Bataille

In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.

Iain Banks

Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot

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.

James Joyce

All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.

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.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

Kathy Acker

If you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you. I want everything.

Aldous Huxley

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.

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.

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.

Poppy Z Brite

When you have too much faith in something, it’s bound to hurt you. Too much faith in anything will suck you dry. In this way, all the world is a vampire.

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.

Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving

All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.

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.

George Orwell, 1984

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

Will Self

A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.

Richard Bachman, The Long Walk

None of us really has anything to lose. That makes it easier to give away.

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.

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.

George Orwell, 1984

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

George Orwell

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

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.

George Orwell, 1984

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

Richard Bachman, Rage

That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.

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’.

Dennis Cooper, Frisk

Human bodies are such garbage bags.

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.

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.

Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

It is shaming sometimes, how the body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions.

Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

Knut Hamsun, Hunger

Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.

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.

William Golding

My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.

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.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.

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

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.

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.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.

Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.

Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

Vladimir Nabokov

Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.

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.

Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son

I knew every raindrop by its name.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.

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.

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.

Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation

Sooner or later, everything turns into television.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.

Vladimir Nabokov

Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.

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.

Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.

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.

R D Ronald

Nothing says Christmas better than familicide and anaphylactic shock.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.

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.

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.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.

J G Ballard

Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.

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.

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.

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

J G Ballard, Crash

After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.

Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.

J G Ballard, Crash

I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.

William S Burroughs

Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.

Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief

I don’t deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts.

Charles Bukowski, Barfly

I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.

R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree

Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.

Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero

Disappear here

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

We are most artistically caged.

Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

Eroticize intelligence.

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.

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.

Henry Miller

What’s a fuck when what I want is love?

Charles Bukowski

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

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.

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.

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.

Italo Calvino

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.

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.

Sylvia Plath

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.

Hunter S Thomson

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction

No one ever likes the right person.

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.

Greg Levin, Sick to Death

We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.

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.

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.

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.

Anaïs Nin

Ordinary life does not interest me.

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

Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.

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

Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.

Hubert Selby Jr

Sometimes we have the absolute certainty there’s something inside us that’s so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won’t be able to stand looking at it. But it’s when we’re willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel.

Greg Levin, The Exit Man

She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.

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?

Bret Easton Ellis

Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.

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.

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.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground

I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.

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.

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.

Denis Johnson, Already Dead

I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.

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.

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.

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.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.

J G Ballard, Running Wild

In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.

Hunter S Thomson

Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.

Anaïs Nin

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.

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.

Greg Levin, The Exit Man

Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’

R D Ronald

Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.

Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last

You have to die a few times before you can really live.

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.

Hunter S Thomson

Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.

Charles Bukowski

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are 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.

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 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.

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’.

Poppy Z Brite

The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.

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.

Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself

Hate can be just as intimate as love.

Dennis Cooper, Frisk

Human bodies are such garbage bags.

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.

Kathy Acker, Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia

Everytime you read, you are walking among the dead, and, if you are listening, you just might hear prophecies.

Allen Ginsberg

Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!

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.

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.

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.

Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

… The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different than the sort you know you’ll get through if you just hang in there

George Orwell, 1984

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

George Orwell, 1984

In the face of pain there are no heroes.

Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

It is shaming sometimes, how the body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions.

Albert Camus

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Ian McEwan, Atonement

She lay in the dark and knew everything.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.

Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

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.

Albert Camus

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.

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.

Kurt Vonnegut

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.

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.

Martin Amis, The Information

He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.

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, On the Road

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.

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

And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.

Poppy Z Brite

Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.

Iain Banks, Use of Weapons

I just think people overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.

Knut Hamsun, Hunger

Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?

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.

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.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

Will Self

I’m going to end up like one of those old weirdos who lives in a network of tunnels burrowed through trash – yet I do not fear this.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.

Kurt Vonnegut

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

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.

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.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.

Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory

Looking at me, you’d never guess I’d killed three people. It isn’t fair.

Dennis Cooper, Closer

Dan thought of love as defined by books, cobwebbed and hidden from view by the past. Too bad a love like that didn’t actually exist. In the twentieth century one had to fake it.

Aldous Huxley

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.

George Orwell, 1984

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip

I’m not much but I’m all I have.

Will Self

Schadenfreude is so nutritious.

Aldous Huxley

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

Will Self

A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.

Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates

Dreams are manifestations of identities.

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.

James Joyce

Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.

D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.

Kurt Vonnegut

Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.

Richard Bachman, Rage

Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.

Philip K Dick, A Scanner Darkly

I have seen myself backward.

Iain Banks

It’s a library, only the stupid or the evil are afraid of those

George Orwell, 1984

The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.

Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

George Orwell, 1984

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

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.

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.

Albert Camus

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?

Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge

Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.

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

George Orwell, 1984

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

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?

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.

George Orwell, 1984

If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.

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

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?

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.

Jim Carroll

Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.

James Joyce, Ulysses

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.

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.

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.

Philip K Dick

The problem with introspection is that it has no end.

Martin Amis, Other People

When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable

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.

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.

Jack Kerouac

Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.

James Joyce, Ulysses

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School

Love goes away when your mind goes away and then you’re someone else.

Albert Camus

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?

Martin Amis, London Fields

And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.

Philip K Dick

If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.

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.

William Golding

My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.

Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel

Listen, ah don’t wanna speak ill of the dead but have ah told you that mah mother was a great whopping whale of a cunt? Well she was precisely that – a great whopping whale of a hog’s cunt with a dirty maggot for a brain.

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.

George Orwell, 1

Big Brother is Watching You.

Albert Camus

Live to the point of tears.

Nick Cave

Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.

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.

Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook

…what they show tells you what they want to hide.

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

The world is on fire; time is a bomb.Ten thousand years are not enoughWhen so much remains to be done

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.

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

Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.

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.

Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook

A person’s life story is equal to what they have plus what they want most in the world, minus what they’re actually willing to sacrifice for it.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.

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.

Sylvia Plath

Is there no way out of the mind?

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.

R D Ronald

Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.

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.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.

Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.

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.

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

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

We are most artistically caged.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

But what I do I do because I like to do.

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.

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.

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.

Monica Drake, Clown Girl

When life sucks, throw yourself into art.

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

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

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.

R D Ronald

I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.

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.

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.

Charles Bukowski

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.

Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?

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.

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

J G Ballard, Crash

I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.

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, Less Than Zero

Disappear here

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.

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.

Charles Bukowski, Factotum

My ambition is handicapped by laziness

Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

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.

William S Burroughs

Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.

Hunter S Thomson

So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.

J G Ballard

Fiction is a branch of neurology: the scenarios of nerve and blood vessels are the written mythologies of memory and desire.

Anaïs Nin

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

Hunter S Thomson

Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.

Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird

Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.

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.

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.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.

Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.

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.

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.

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.

Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.

William S Burroughs

In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.

Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction

No one ever likes the right person.

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.

Vladimir Nabokov

Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.

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.

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.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree

That’s why Twinkle likes the place so much, Scott thought, looking around at the faded wood veneer tables, and the faded souls drinking at them. Misery was soaked through the place like the old beer soaked through its carpets.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.

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.

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.

R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree

Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.

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.

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.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.

Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook

It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.

Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son

She wanted to eat my heart and be lost in the desert with what she’d done, she wanted to fall on her knees and give birth from it, she wanted to hurt me as only a child can be hurt by its mother.

Greg Levin, The Exit Man

She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.

Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation

Sooner or later, everything turns into television.

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.

Hunter S Thomson

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

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.

Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.

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.

Anthony Burgess, Homage To QwertYuiop: Essays

To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.

Denis Johnson

English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.

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.

R D Ronald

This faulty light fitting at the front door with the dangerously flickering bulb looks rather festive. Who says I don’t do Christmas?

Denis Johnson, Already Dead

I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.

Katherine Dunn, Geek Love

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.

Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.

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