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?
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
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, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture Eroticize intelligence.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?
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.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.
William S Burroughs Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
Rupert Thomson, Secrecy Perhaps there comes a time in your life when you lose the ability to command attention, when the world starts to ignore you because it no longer believes you can have much of an effect on it.
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.
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 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 aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
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 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 Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.
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.
Charles Bukowski The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
William S Burroughs Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.
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 Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
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.
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.
Hunter S Thomson I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last You have to die a few times before you can really live.
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, Gone Girl It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
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.
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.
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.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club I don’t want to die without any scars.
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.
Anaïs Nin We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
R D Ronald Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook …what they show tells you what they want to hide.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
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, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son And therefore I looked down into the great pity of a person’s life on this earth. I don’t mean that we all end up dead, that’s not the great pity. I mean that he couldn’t tell me what he was dreaming, and I couldn’t tell him what was real.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.
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.
Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation Sooner or later, everything turns into television.
R D Ronald I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 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.
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.
J G Ballard Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho I have to return some videotapes
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
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.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero Disappear here
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.
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
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
Anaïs Nin We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
Denis Johnson English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.
Charles Bukowski Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
J G Ballard Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.
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.
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.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree Jack laughed behind him, a mirthless sound from a man who had been on the wrong end of life’s ironies too many times.
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?
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.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer I have found God, but he is insufficient.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.
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.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl When life sucks, throw yourself into art.
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.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
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
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.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria Everything in the universe is everything else. A man is a killer is a saint is a monkey is a cockroach is a goldfish is a whale, and the Devil is just the angel who asked for More.
Chuck Palahniuk, 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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.
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.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.
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.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum My ambition is handicapped by laziness