Transgressive Fiction

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Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.

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.

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.

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.

Joan Didion

You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.

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.

Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto

Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.

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.

Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.

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.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.

A C Weisbecker

If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.

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.

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.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.

Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness

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.

Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy

Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.

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!

Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.

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.

Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries

they’re fucking up minds they do not own.

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.

Will Self

Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.

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.

Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas

And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.

Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels

If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager

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.

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.

Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.

Graham Greene

Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.

Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

Hate is a lack of imagination.

Chuck Klosterman

People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.

Niccolò Machiavelli

I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.

David Peace, The Damned Utd

You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.

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.

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.

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.

Megan Abbott

When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.

Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories

The world is your oyster……too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.

Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands

It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes

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.

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.

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.

Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth

… her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.

Will Christopher Baer

Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.

Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories

It takes more than one kick in the pants to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy.

Franz Kafka

Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.

Franz Kafka

I am free and that is why I am lost.

Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon

History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations

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.

Jim Thompson

Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.

Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas

Disappear, she says. I love that word.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.

Marquis de Sade

In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.

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.

Franz Kafka

All language is but a poor translation.

Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo

Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.

Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas

Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.

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, 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.

Jim Carroll

You see, you just don’t knowI’m here to give you my heartAnd you want some fashion show

Franz Kafka

There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.

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.

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.

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.

Franz Kafka

Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.

Franz Kafka

The meaning of life is that it stops.

Franz Kafka

I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.

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.

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.

Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend

Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.

Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun

This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.

Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories

If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.

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.

Marquis de Sade

To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.

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, On Self-Respect

Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.

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

Arthur Koestler

The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.

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.

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.

Franz Kafka

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.

Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.

Marquis de Sade

Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.

Paul Neilan

Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

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?

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.

Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG

She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.

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.

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.

Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

… The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different than the sort you know you’ll get through if you just hang in there

James Joyce, Ulysses

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?

George Orwell, 1984

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

Knut Hamsun

Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.

Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.

George Orwell, 1984

If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.

Iain Banks

Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot

Knut Hamsun, Hunger

…I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.

Ray Bradbury

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

George Orwell, 1984

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

Albert Camus

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

Allen Ginsberg

Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.

Philip K Dick, A Scanner Darkly

I have seen myself backward.

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.

Ian McEwan

No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.

Lauren Sapala, Between the Shadow and Lo

Most people don’t like to admit that vaginas have economic value, but they’re one of our most valuable natural resources.

Dennis Cooper, Closer

I’m a talentless but popular young singer and I have the feeling someone is watching me. I use the term loosely because I have few feelings, and even they’re too simple, like primary colors.

James Joyce

Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.

Richard Bachman, Rage

Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.

Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar’s vile tongue be cut out! Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!

George Orwell, Animal Farm

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Matthew Stokoe, High Life

I’d done it, I’d crossed the line between accepted behavior and behavior most of the population would consider a lynching offense, and that morning I felt as real as any of the men in the Escape commercials. It had been dirty and nasty but I wanted more.

Alissa Nutting, Tampa

His eyes took in the details of my body with a conflicted gaze that I knew well: even having seen all the facts of the case, he still wanted me. He wanted me despite knowing what that meant about him.

Albert Camus

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

Dennis Cooper, Frisk

Human bodies are such garbage bags.

Georges Bataille, Eroticism: Death and Sensuality

Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaining it.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

The belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow.

Philip K Dick

There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.

Ryū Murakami

Everybody wants to talk about themselves, and everybody wants to hear everybody else’s story, so we take turns playing reporter and celebrity.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.

Will Self

A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.

Will Self

Schadenfreude is so nutritious.

James Joyce

Shut your eyes and see.

Nick Cave

People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.

Richard Bachman, The Long Walk

Crowd was to be pleased. Crowd was to be worshipped and feared. Ultimately, Crowd was to be made sacrifice unto.

Matthew Stokoe, High Life

I slept and the night rolled over into day like a dog. Another post-meridian awakening – sunshine on empty bottles, tangled clothes. I dozed while the temperature rose.

George Orwell

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Thus it is that no cruelty whatsoever passes by without impact. Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.

Philip K Dick

The problem with introspection is that it has no end.

Iain Banks

It’s a library, only the stupid or the evil are afraid of those

George Orwell, 1984

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

George Orwell, 1984

In the face of pain there are no heroes.

Albert Camus

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?

George Orwell, 1984

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

Alissa Nutting, Tampa

There was something repulsive (and revealing) about talking on a cell phone while handling garbage. Why did anyone pretend human relationships had value?

Ian McEwan

Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion and the beginning of morality

Albert Camus

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

Philip K Dick, VALIS

There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

And so it goes…

Allen Ginsberg

Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!

Albert Camus

Live to the point of tears.

Nick Cave

I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.

William Golding

Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.

Jack Kerouac

I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.

Will Self

I’m going to end up like one of those old weirdos who lives in a network of tunnels burrowed through trash – yet I do not fear this.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.

Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.

Jack Kerouac

Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

Ryū Murakami, Coin Locker Babies

They don’t realise that they’ve changed; they think it’s the world that changed.

James Joyce, Ulysses

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.

Albert Camus

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.

Iain Banks, Against a Dark Background

Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?

Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm

When a child grows old enough to know J.R.R. Tolkien was just staring at a typewriter, the truth can be a wounding exposé.

James Joyce, Ulysses

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York

I don’t like him…he makes me feel like he’s going to throw me in a coffin and walk around on top of it.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

Martin Amis, House of Meetings

Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.

Poppy Z Brite, Wormwood: A Collection of Short Stories

You hold onto what you have; you do not give it up easily, even when you know it is poisoning you.

George Orwell, 1984

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

Richard Bachman, Rage

That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.

William Golding, Pincher Martin

Worse than madness. Sanity.

J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey

I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.

Ray Bradbury

Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.

Kathy Acker, Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia

Everytime you read, you are walking among the dead, and, if you are listening, you just might hear prophecies.

Dennis Cooper, Closer

Dan thought of love as defined by books, cobwebbed and hidden from view by the past. Too bad a love like that didn’t actually exist. In the twentieth century one had to fake it.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

George Orwell, 1984

Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.

Richard Bachman, The Long Walk

The longer you went without speaking, the harder it gets to break the silence.

Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory

Looking at me, you’d never guess I’d killed three people. It isn’t fair.

Kurt Vonnegut

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

Richard Bachman, Roadwork

All places are the same unless your mind changes. There’s no magic place to get your mind right. If you feel like shit, everything you see looks like shit.

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

George Orwell, 1984

The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.

Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm

Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.

Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates

Dreams are manifestations of identities.

Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

Eroticize intelligence.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.

Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.

Vladimir Nabokov

Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.

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

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.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.

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.

Irvine Welsh

I’m not running away, I’m moving on.

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.

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

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.

Irvine Welsh, Porno

You can’t lie to your soul.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.

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.

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.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?

Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream

Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.

R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree

Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

I don’t want to die without any scars.

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.

Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook

…what they show tells you what they want to hide.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

Charles Bukowski, Barfly

I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.

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.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.

Charles Bukowski, Post Office

I wanted the whole world or nothing.

Monica Drake, Clown Girl

The only value of wasted time is knowledge.

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.

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.

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.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.

Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.

Hubert Selby Jr

Sometimes we have the absolute certainty there’s something inside us that’s so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won’t be able to stand looking at it. But it’s when we’re willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.

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.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.

Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

She had nothing in this world but her two hands and her crazy love for Jesus, who seemed, for his part, never to have heard of her.

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

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.

Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.

Charles Bukowski, Factotum

My ambition is handicapped by laziness

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

R D Ronald

I’m the biggest critic of my own work, but sometimes you nail a chapter so good that you have to take a step back and admire that bitch.

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.

Hunter S Thomson

Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.

Hunter S Thomson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman

A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

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.

Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird

Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.

Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction

No one ever likes the right person.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?

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

Anthony Burgess

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

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.

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.

Monica Drake, Clown Girl

When life sucks, throw yourself into art.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.

Sylvia Plath

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.

Kola Boof, The Sexy Part of the Bible

But somehow, once you start playing behind the steering wheel of God, you realize just how powerful it is to be the imagination driving the natural world (64).

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.

J G Ballard, Crash

I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.

Denis Johnson, Already Dead

I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.

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

Douglas Coupland

I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.

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.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last

You have to die a few times before you can really live.

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.

R D Ronald

I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

But what I do I do because I like to do.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.

Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.

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.

Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.

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?

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.

Italo Calvino

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.

Anaïs Nin

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

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.

Denis Johnson

English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.

Irvine Welsh

Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.

Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

I have found God, but he is insufficient.

Bret Easton Ellis

Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.

Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream

But you cant shut everyone out. I mean you have to have someone to love. . .someone to hold on to. . . someone–

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.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground

Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.

Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.

George Orwell, 1984

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip

I’m not much but I’m all I have.

Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

Kathy Acker

For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.

Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.

Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory

Looking at me, you’d never guess I’d killed three people. It isn’t fair.

Philip K Dick

The problem with introspection is that it has no end.

Philip K Dick

If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.

George Orwell, 1984

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

Martin Amis, The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11

Love is an abstract noun, something nebulous. And yet love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the world turns upside down and the screen goes black.

Philip K Dick

There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.

George Orwell, 1984

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel

And Satan sighed and shook his head, played harp amongst the flames. ‘It’s Hell up there in Heaven too, for all that that is worth. Heaven is just a lie of mine to make it Hell on Earth.

Jack Kerouac

I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.

Iain Banks

Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot

Georges Bataille

In what will survive meI am in harmonywith my annihilation.

Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.

Philip K Dick, VALIS

There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.

Ray Bradbury

Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.

D H Lawrence, The Complete Poems

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Nick Cave, The Death of Bunny Munro

I am damned,’ thinks Bunny Munro in a sudden moment of self-awareness reserved for those who are soon to die.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Mothers are all slightly insane.

Ian McEwan, Saturday

You can tell a lot from a person’s nails. When a life starts to unravel, they’re among the first to go.

Philip K Dick, A Scanner Darkly

I have seen myself backward.

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

William Golding, Pincher Martin

Worse than madness. Sanity.

Alissa Nutting, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls

I was like a turd inside someone who’d accidentally swallowed an engagement ring: I was nothing, yet I carried something uniquely special.

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey

I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.

Ian McEwan, Atonement

It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.

Martin Amis, House of Meetings

Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.

Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Albert Camus

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

D H Lawrence

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.

George Orwell, 1984

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.

George Orwell

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

It is shaming sometimes, how the body will not, or cannot, lie about emotions.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Thus it is that no cruelty whatsoever passes by without impact. Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.

Poppy Z Brite

Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.

George Orwell, 1984

We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

Richard Bachman, Rage

That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.

Ian McEwan

Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion and the beginning of morality

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.

Ryū Murakami

She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there

Georges Bataille, Eroticism: Death and Sensuality

Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaining it.

Matthew Stokoe, High Life

I’d done it, I’d crossed the line between accepted behavior and behavior most of the population would consider a lynching offense, and that morning I felt as real as any of the men in the Escape commercials. It had been dirty and nasty but I wanted more.

Jim Carroll

Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.

Poppy Z Brite, Wormwood: A Collection of Short Stories

You hold onto what you have; you do not give it up easily, even when you know it is poisoning you.

George Orwell, 1984

If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.

Nick Cave

People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.

Nick Cave

Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.

George Orwell, Animal Farm

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

Dennis Cooper, Closer

Dan thought of love as defined by books, cobwebbed and hidden from view by the past. Too bad a love like that didn’t actually exist. In the twentieth century one had to fake it.

James Joyce

Shut your eyes and see.

Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

Parents, teachers, government – they all teach you how to live the dreary , deadening life of a slave, but nobody teaches you how to live normally.

Ray Bradbury

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.

Christa Faust

I hate malls. They’re like strip clubs for women. All tease and sparkle and the empty promise that if you just drop enough cash, somehow you’ll be fulfilled.

Kurt Vonnegut

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

George Orwell

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Albert Camus

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Alissa Nutting, Tampa

There was something repulsive (and revealing) about talking on a cell phone while handling garbage. Why did anyone pretend human relationships had value?

Georges Bataille, Violent Silence

I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?

Dennis Cooper, Closer

I’m a talentless but popular young singer and I have the feeling someone is watching me. I use the term loosely because I have few feelings, and even they’re too simple, like primary colors.

Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

… The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different than the sort you know you’ll get through if you just hang in there

George Orwell

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

George Orwell, 1984

The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.

Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory

Sometimes the thoughts and feelings I had didn’t really agree with each other, so I decided I must be lots of different people inside my brain.

D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.

William Golding

Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.

George Orwell

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

James Joyce

All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.

Aldous Huxley

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

Iain Banks, Against a Dark Background

Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.

Aldous Huxley

Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.

George Orwell, 1984

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.

Richard Bachman, Thinner

The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.

Alissa Nutting, Tampa

His eyes took in the details of my body with a conflicted gaze that I knew well: even having seen all the facts of the case, he still wanted me. He wanted me despite knowing what that meant about him.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?

William Golding

My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.

Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving

All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.

George Orwell, Animal Farm

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack

Logic is what the devil likes most.

George Orwell, 1984

Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.

J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.

Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

When you’re a kid, getting lost isn’t just an event or a situation, it’s like a career move. You get this thrill of anxiety and fear and a feeling that you’ve done something that can never be undone.

Richard Bachman, Rage

Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.

Knut Hamsun, Hunger

…I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye.

Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates

Dreams are manifestations of identities.

Poppy Z Brite

When you have too much faith in something, it’s bound to hurt you. Too much faith in anything will suck you dry. In this way, all the world is a vampire.

George Orwell, 1984

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

Poppy Z Brite

The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.

Ian McEwan

No one knows anything, really. It’s all rented, or borrowed.

.

R D Ronald

I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.

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.

Denis Johnson

English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.

Violet Levoit, I Miss The World

Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “9/11.” “I shouldn’t even.” “No, come on.” “9/11 who?” “You swore you’d never forget.

Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.

Hunter S Thomson

Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.

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.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

I have to return some videotapes

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.

Anaïs Nin

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.

R D Ronald

Nothing says Christmas better than familicide and anaphylactic shock.

Henry Miller

What’s a fuck when what I want is love?

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.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.

Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.

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.

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.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.

Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

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.

Hubert Selby Jr

Sometimes we have the absolute certainty there’s something inside us that’s so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won’t be able to stand looking at it. But it’s when we’re willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel.

Craig Clevenger, Dermaphoria

The time flies. The time flies feed on rotting clocks.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.

Douglas Coupland, Life After God

And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one.

J G Ballard

Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.

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.

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.

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

We are most artistically caged.

Monica Drake, Clown Girl

When life sucks, throw yourself into art.

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.

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.

Charles Bukowski, Factotum

My ambition is handicapped by laziness

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.

Vladimir Nabokov

Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.

Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing

That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.

Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream

There’s a sorrow and pain in everyone’s life, but every now and then there’s a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort like hot soup and a soft bed.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.

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?

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.

Sylvia Plath

Is there no way out of the mind?

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.

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.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.

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.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.

Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.

Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation

Sooner or later, everything turns into television.

Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief

I don’t deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts.

R D Ronald

The best writers tend to look the roughest in photos. At least that’s the excuse I use for why I look so bad in mine.

R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree

Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

There is no God and we are his prophets.

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.

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.

Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last

You have to die a few times before you can really live.

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.

Denis Johnson, Already Dead

I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.

Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

Eroticize intelligence.

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.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.

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.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.

Charles Bukowski, Barfly

I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.

R D Ronald

I’m the biggest critic of my own work, but sometimes you nail a chapter so good that you have to take a step back and admire that bitch.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

I don’t want to die without any scars.

Anaïs Nin

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

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.

Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son

I knew every raindrop by its name.

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.

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.

Irvine Welsh

I’m not running away, I’m moving on.

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.

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.

Hunter S Thomson

So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?

Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction

No one ever likes the right person.

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.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.

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.

Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook

It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.

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.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.

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.

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

Greg Levin, Sick to Death

We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.

Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.

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

All I know is this: nobody’s very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down.

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.

William S Burroughs

I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it.

Sylvia Plath

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.

Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream

But you cant shut everyone out. I mean you have to have someone to love. . .someone to hold on to. . . someone–

Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.

Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero

Disappear here

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

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