Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me A weed is a plant out of place.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy In other words: It seems to me that I will always be happy in the place where I am not. Or, more bluntly: Wherever I am not is the place where I am myself. Or else, taking the bull by the horns: Anywhere out of the world.
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.
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.
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?
Franz Kafka There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
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 I thought at the time that I couldn’t be horrified anymore, or wounded. I suppose that’s a common conceit, that you’ve already been so damaged that damage itself, in its totality, makes you safe.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
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.
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.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Marquis de Sade In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
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.
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.
Will Christopher Baer Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
Niccolò Machiavelli Never was anything great achieved without danger.
David Peace, The Damned Utd You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
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.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka, The Trial It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
Chuck Klosterman People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
Graham Greene Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
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!
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies 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.
Aleister Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4 One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me I kissed her, a long hard kiss. Because baby didn’t know it, but baby was dead, and in a way I couldn’t have loved her more.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Franz Kafka I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Joan Didion You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
Niccolò Machiavelli I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow 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.
Paul Auster, Invisible You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
Luke Rhinehart There is something fundamentally wrong with the way we normally live our lives and we’d sort of like to find out what it is.
A C Weisbecker If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year Email servers learned to laugh.
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Will Self Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
Arthur Koestler Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
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.
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.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
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.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy …the greatest source of misery in the world, the greatest cause of anguish and hatred and sadness and death, was neither disease nor race nor religion. It was hope.
Franz Kafka I am free and that is why I am lost.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
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.
Paul Neilan Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
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, We Need to Talk About Kevin Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid 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.
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.
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.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are.
Megan Abbott When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
Franz Kafka A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
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.
Jim Thompson There are thirty-two ways to write a story, and I’ve used every one, but there is only one plot – things are not as they seem.
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
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Jim Carroll You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
Joseph Conrad, Chance Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Disappear, she says. I love that word.
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.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four Uncle Eric holding court, proud the only time he ever left Yorkshire was to kill Germans.
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.
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.
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.