Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year Email servers learned to laugh.
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.
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.
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.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
Stephen Graham Jones, After the People Lights Have Gone Off Each moment, the world washes its hands of you, starts all over again. Easy as that. Wonderful as that.
Jim Thompson Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
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
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.
Graham Greene Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
Aleister Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4 The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.
Will Self, Grey Area How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
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.
Franz Kafka I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
Megan Abbott, Dare Me Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Chance Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness We live as we dream–alone….
Megan Abbott, Dare Me There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
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.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
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 Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Paul Neilan Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
Franz Kafka I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
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.
Chuck Klosterman People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
Marquis de Sade Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me A weed is a plant out of place.
Franz Kafka I am a cage, in search of a bird.
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.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Franz Kafka I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
Franz Kafka I am free and that is why I am lost.
Will Christopher Baer Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
Megan Abbott When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four My father used to say, ‘If you want to know the artist, look at the art’. He was usually talking about Stanley Matthews or Don Bradman when he said it.
Marquis de Sade Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.
Arthur Koestler The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
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 Carroll, The Basketball Diaries they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
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 All language is but a poor translation.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
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.
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 Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
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.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Life is rarely about what happened; it’s mostly about what we think happened.
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.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
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 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.
Blake Butler, Three Hundred Million Blood helicopters chopped across my slim cerebrum like fresh diamonds, rings in screaming on small hands coming awake inside my linings, each after its own way to reach beyond me.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man 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.
Blake Butler black beyond black
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!
Arthur Koestler Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
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.
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.
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.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas I am so stupid, so easily fooled. It’s really almost funny. If I could lift a finger I would gladly kill myself.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
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.
Franz Kafka A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Franz Kafka, The Trial It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
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.
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.
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.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG Do you understand why I prefer you to have a toy gun?
Franz Kafka Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.
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 Auster You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth … her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
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, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
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.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.