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.
Arthur Nersesian, Dogrun I lay in bed and watched moments break into phenomenal particles of panic and could actually see the divine crack of God’s ass as he completely turned his back on me.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
Arthur Nersesian, Manhattan Loverboy The masses-I love em-they rush for red lights, risking everything to capture a few seconds, only to get home and waste their lives.
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.
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.
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.
Blake Butler black beyond black
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
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.
Marquis de Sade Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.
Franz Kafka I am free and that is why I am lost.
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.
Will Self Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
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.
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.
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.
Megan Abbott When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
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.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
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.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.
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.
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!
Megan Abbott, You Will Know Me Because there’s a hundred ways sex can ruin you but there’s no end to the ways love can.
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.
Franz Kafka Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
Paul 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.
Marquis de Sade It is only by way of pain one arrives at pleasure
Arthur Koestler The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
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.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Franz Kafka The meaning of life is that it stops.
Aleister Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4 The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.
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
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
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.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin Children live in the same world we do. To kid ourselves that we can shelter them from it isn’t just naive it’s a vanity.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth … her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.
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.
Franz Kafka All language is but a poor translation.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli Never was anything great achieved without danger.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Joan Didion I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
Franz Kafka 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.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
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.
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!
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.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
Arthur Koestler Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine And if all womankind banded together and took the male path, the world would turn into one huge brothel.
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.
Graham Greene Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
Paul Auster, Invisible You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me A weed is a plant out of place.
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
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.
Stephen Graham Jones, After the People Lights Have Gone Off But at some point you have to just decide that if a bear’s going to eat you, a bear’s going to eat you, and then you go about your day.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.
David Peace, The Damned Utd You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
Arthur Koestler, Drinkers of Infinity: Essays 1955-1967 Creative activity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
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.
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.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
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.
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 A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
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.
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.
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.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine Finally, when all was said and done, the certainty (so often experienced, yet always new) that female charms, the kind that inflame the senses, are no more than kitchen smells: they tease you when you’re hungry and disgust you when you’ve had your fill.
Franz Kafka I am a cage, in search of a bird.
Jim Carroll You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show
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.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness
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.
Franz Kafka I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
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.
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
Franz Kafka Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.