Transgressive Fiction

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Cormac McCarthy, The Road
You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Will Self, Grey Area
How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
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.
Franz Kafka
Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
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
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.
Jim Thompson
Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
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.
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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Disappear, she says. I love that word.
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.
Niccolò Machiavelli
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend
Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
Marquis de Sade
In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence? I try to smile. What’s the difference, really.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
Love is a kind of killing, Addy,” she says. “Don’t you know that?
Stephen Graham Jones, After the People Lights Have Gone Off
But at some point you have to just decide that if a bear’s going to eat you, a bear’s going to eat you, and then you go about your day.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness
Megan Abbott, Dare Me
There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.
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.
Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas
And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.
Chuck Klosterman
People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation.
Megan Abbott
When you have nothing inside you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control it all.
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.
A C Weisbecker
If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Arthur Koestler
I went to Communism as one goes to a spring of fresh water, and I left Communism as one clambers out of a poisoned river strewn with the wreckage of flooded cities and the corpses of the drowned.
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?
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth
Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.
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.
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.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine
And if all womankind banded together and took the male path, the world would turn into one huge brothel.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild
I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
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.
Franz Kafka
All language is but a poor translation.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect
Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Graham Greene, Ways of Escape
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year
Email servers learned to laugh.
Will Christopher Baer
Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
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.
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.
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.
Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy
Roads are no place for naive chickens dreaming of nirvana.
Franz Kafka
I am a cage, in search of a bird.
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.
Blake Butler
black beyond black
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG
She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
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.
Franz Kafka
The meaning of life is that it stops.
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.
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.
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
History had a slow pulse; man counted in years, history in generations
Arthur Koestler
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
Franz Kafka
Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
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, Dare Me
If it hadn’t been what it was, it would’ve been beautiful.
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.
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.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia
Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories
Whenever I’m leaving I get sentimental for that nostalgia I know I won’t have the next day.
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, 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.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
We live as we dream–alone….
Guy Portman, Charles Middleworth
She only wears black now and she’s umm; well she’s threatening to become a vampire.
Franz Kafka
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
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
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.
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.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun
This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Franz Kafka
I am free and that is why I am lost.
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.
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.
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.
Franz Kafka, The Trial
It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
Marquis de Sade
Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
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.
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.
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.
Paul Neilan
Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
Jim Thompson
There are thirty-two ways to write a story, and I’ve used every one, but there is only one plot – things are not as they seem.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Marquis de Sade
Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man
We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels
If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager
Arthur Koestler
The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
Joan Didion
You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
Franz Kafka
I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
Marquis de Sade
It is only by way of pain one arrives at pleasure
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.
Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
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.
Knut Hamsun, Hunger
Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.
Georges Bataille
The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth.
Nick Cave
People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
Knut Hamsun
Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
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.
Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack
Nature has a pretty sick sense of humor.
George Orwell
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
James Joyce, Ulysses
Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.
Albert Camus
Live to the point of tears.
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.
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel
Listen, ah don’t wanna speak ill of the dead but have ah told you that mah mother was a great whopping whale of a cunt? Well she was precisely that – a great whopping whale of a hog’s cunt with a dirty maggot for a brain.
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.
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.
William Golding
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
Philip K Dick, VALIS
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Kathy Acker
For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.
George Orwell, 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
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.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!
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.
Albert Camus
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
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.
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.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
I know too much and not enough
William Golding, Pincher Martin
Worse than madness. Sanity.
Ryū Murakami
She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for her there’s nothing there
James Joyce, Ulysses
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
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
Martin Amis, Other People
When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable
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, 1984
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Ryū Murakami, Coin Locker Babies
They don’t realise that they’ve changed; they think it’s the world that changed.
George Orwell, 1984
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell, 1984
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
James Joyce, Ulysses
And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.
Richard Bachman, Rage
That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.
Albert Camus
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
Will Self
Schadenfreude is so nutritious.
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.
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.
Dennis Cooper, The Marbled Swarm
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
Georges Bataille, Violent Silence
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
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.
Philip K Dick, A Scanner Darkly
I have seen myself backward.
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.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
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.
Jack Kerouac
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
None of us really has anything to lose. That makes it easier to give away.
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.
Poppy Z Brite, Lost Souls
If you want something, you don’t wait for the world to deal it out for you. You take it.
Martin Amis, The Information
He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
Aldous Huxley
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
Philip K Dick
If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.
George Orwell, Animal Farm
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
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.
Jim Carroll
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.
George Orwell
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
D H Lawrence
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
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.
Poppy Z Brite
The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
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.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
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
The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.
Kurt Vonnegut
The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
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.
Martin Amis
The universe is a million billion light-years wide, and every inch of it would kill you if you went there. This is the position of the universe with regards to human life.
Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School
Love goes away when your mind goes away and then you’re someone else.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
Philip K Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
George Orwell, 1984
Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
Ray Bradbury
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
George Orwell, 1984
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
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.
Allen Ginsberg
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
She lay in the dark and knew everything.
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.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
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.
Aldous Huxley
Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden
Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Henry Miller
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last
You have to die a few times before you can really live.
Denis Johnson
English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.
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, Crash
I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.
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.
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?
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
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.
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.
Hunter S Thomson
Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
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.
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis
We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov
Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
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.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
J G Ballard, Running Wild
In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
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.
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.
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.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
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.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.
Henry Miller
To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead
I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
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.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.
R D Ronald
Anyone who says “Trust me” is the last motherfucker you should ever trust.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
There is no God and we are his prophets.
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, Fight Club
I don’t want to die without any scars.
R D Ronald
Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
Douglas Coupland
I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
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.
R D Ronald
I’m not into this whole “move with the times” thing. I reckon we should just decide on a year and stick with it.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
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.
Henry Miller
What’s a fuck when what I want is love?
William S Burroughs
In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
Anaïs Nin
Ordinary life does not interest me.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.
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.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
I say I’m fine. I tell him I’ll be back to my old self once we’re getting handcuffed in Phnom Penh.
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.
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.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
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
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
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.
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
Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
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–
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.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground
I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
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.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree
Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
William S Burroughs
Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.
Bret Easton Ellis
Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.
Rupert Thomson, The Insult
There’s love and everybody talks about it, but not all of us come close to it – or, if we do, it’s not in the expected way.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
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.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
J G Ballard, Crash
After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
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.
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.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
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.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
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.
R D Ronald
I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting
By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be.
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).
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
Eroticize intelligence.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?
George Orwell
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
George Orwell, 1984
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
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.
Kelly Braffet, Save Yourself
Hate can be just as intimate as love.
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.
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.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden
Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.
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.
Poppy Z Brite, Lost Souls
If you want something, you don’t wait for the world to deal it out for you. You take it.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Mothers are all slightly insane.
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.
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.
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.
James Joyce, Ulysses
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
George Orwell, 1984
The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
She lay in the dark and knew everything.
George Orwell
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving
All he would say was that sometimes you have to burn it down and start over.
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.
Albert Camus
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
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.
J D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
Kathy Acker
For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.
Richard Bachman, Rage
That was Dad’s life, and I was the birdshit on his windshield.
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.
Nick Cave
I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York
I had a hunger for things I knew realistically I didn’t actually care for.
Allen Ginsberg
I know too much and not enough
Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School
Love goes away when your mind goes away and then you’re someone else.
Aldous Huxley
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
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.
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.
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.
Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge
Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.
D H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
James Joyce, Ulysses
And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.
James Joyce
Shut your eyes and see.
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, 1984
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.
Albert Camus
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
James Joyce
Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.
J D Salinger, Franny and Zooey
I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.
Albert Camus
Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead Walk beside me… just be my friend
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.
Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel
Listen, ah don’t wanna speak ill of the dead but have ah told you that mah mother was a great whopping whale of a cunt? Well she was precisely that – a great whopping whale of a hog’s cunt with a dirty maggot for a brain.
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.
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.
Albert Camus
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Martin Amis
The universe is a million billion light-years wide, and every inch of it would kill you if you went there. This is the position of the universe with regards to human life.
Allen Ginsberg
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
Richard Bachman, Rage
Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.
Ryū Murakami, Coin Locker Babies
They don’t realise that they’ve changed; they think it’s the world that changed.
George Orwell
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
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!
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.
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.
George Orwell, 1984
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
Jim Carroll
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.
Philip K Dick
The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.
Richard Bachman, The Long Walk
None of us really has anything to lose. That makes it easier to give away.
Will Self
Schadenfreude is so nutritious.
James Joyce
All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.
Georges Bataille
I don’t want your love unless you know i am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
If faces were different when lit from above or below — what was a face? What was anything?
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.
Richard Bachman, Thinner
The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
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.
Philip K Dick, Martian Time-Slip
I’m not much but I’m all I have.
George Orwell, 1
Big Brother is Watching You.
George Orwell, 1984
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
Poppy Z Brite
Why bother? I was right all along: the second you make yourself vulnerable to someone, they start drawing blood.
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.
William Golding
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.
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.
Philip K Dick
If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.
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.
Dennis Cooper, Frisk
Human bodies are such garbage bags.
Georges Bataille
In what will survive me I am in harmony with my annihilation.
Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates
Dreams are manifestations of identities.
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.
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.
Albert Camus
Live to the point of tears.
William Golding
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
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.
Georges Bataille
The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Iain Banks, Against a Dark Background
Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.
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.
Knut Hamsun, Hunger
Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.
George Orwell, 1984
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
Iain Banks
Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot
Nick Cave
Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything.
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?
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
R D Ronald
This faulty light fitting at the front door with the dangerously flickering bulb looks rather festive. Who says I don’t do Christmas?
Irvine Welsh
I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
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, The Exit Man
She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
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.
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.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
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.
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.
Sylvia Plath
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
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
But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
A person’s life story is equal to what they have plus what they want most in the world, minus what they’re actually willing to sacrifice for it.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
There is no God and we are his prophets.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly
I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
J G Ballard
Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
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.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
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
Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
Charles Bukowski
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
And therefore I looked down into the great pity of a person’s life on this earth. I don’t mean that we all end up dead, that’s not the great pity. I mean that he couldn’t tell me what he was dreaming, and I couldn’t tell him what was real.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
J G Ballard, Crash
I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.
Henry Miller
To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
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.
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.
Anthony Burgess, Homage To QwertYuiop: Essays
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
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.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl
When life sucks, throw yourself into art.
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
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
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.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
That’s one of the drawbacks of good narcotics—they often cause you to say cheerful things.
Henry Miller
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death
We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Charles Bukowski
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
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
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
Disappear here
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity
I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
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.
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places
I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
R D Ronald
I’m not into this whole “move with the times” thing. I reckon we should just decide on a year and stick with it.
R D Ronald
Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
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).
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, Invisible Monsters
The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
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.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief
I don’t deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man
Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.
William S Burroughs
Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Bret Easton Ellis
Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.
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.
Italo Calvino
Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.
Douglas Coupland
I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook
It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
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.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis
We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.
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.
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?
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.
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.
Irvine Welsh, Porno
You can’t lie to your soul.
J G Ballard
Fiction is a branch of neurology: the scenarios of nerve and blood vessels are the written mythologies of memory and desire.
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.
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.
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.
J G Ballard, Running Wild
In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
I have found God, but he is insufficient.
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.
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
Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end.
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.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing
There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life
A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
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.
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.
R D Ronald
I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
J G Ballard, Crash
After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell
That’s what birthdays were. Days when you found out where you stood. Who was on your side and who wasn’t. Nothing to do with how old you were.
Hunter S Thomson
Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.
Irvine Welsh
Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.

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