J G Ballard Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.
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.
J G Ballard, Running Wild In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
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
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, 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.
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, A Clockwork Orange I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love They thought to use and shame me but I win out by nature, because a true freak cannot be made. A true freak must be born.
Henry Miller The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl When life sucks, throw yourself into art.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club I don’t want to die without any scars.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Post Office I wanted the whole world or nothing.
Douglas Coupland I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl I asked the cardiologist why an electrocardiogram was called an EKG, instead of an ECG.He said, “Nazis. Nazis invented the machine.”After he left, I found a napkin on my breakfast tray and wrote that down: EKG = Nazis.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero Disappear here
Denis Johnson, Already Dead I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
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.
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 I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
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.
R D Ronald Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.
Bret Easton Ellis Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be 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.
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
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.
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.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
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.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
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.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange But what I do I do because I like to do.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
J G Ballard, Crash I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death Over the previous six months, there was only one thing Gage had become more efficient at than killing… and that was dying.
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.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son Sometimes what I wouldn’t give to have us sitting in a bar again at 9:00 a.m. telling lies to one another, far from God.
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
William S Burroughs Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
Irvine Welsh Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree The craggy lines that made up the character in his face now seemed like scars of defeat, inflicted on him over time.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
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.
Charles Bukowski The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho I have to return some videotapes
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
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.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
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.
Hunter S Thomson I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
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.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
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.
Anaïs Nin Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
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.