Will Christopher Baer Sorrow is like the ocean and sometimes I wish my heart would stop.
Blake Butler, There Is No Year Email servers learned to laugh.
Marquis de Sade Fuck! Is one expected to be a gentleman when one is stiff?
Arthur Koestler, Drinkers of Infinity: Essays 1955-1967 Creative activity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
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.
Jim Carroll You see, you just don’t know
I’m here to give you my heart
And you want some fashion show
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.
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.
Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia Stressful jobs, loveless marriages, bad food-most people kill themselves slowly every day.
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory Hate is a lack of imagination.
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.
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.
Tanya Thompson, Assuming Names: A Con Artist’s Masquerade Do you know the difference between neurotics and psychotics?
Neurotics build castles in the sky; psychotics move into them.
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.
Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.
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.
Joan Didion, On Self-Respect Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Niccolò Machiavelli I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
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.
Marquis de Sade Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
Jim Thompson Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.
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.
Will Self, Grey Area How much more lonely and driven is the serial monogamist than the serial killer?
Arthur Koestler Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
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.
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes
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.
A C Weisbecker If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Paul Neilan Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore.
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy The story is not in the words; it’s in the struggle.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human What did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings?
David Peace, The Damned Utd You wake up and for those few seconds, minutes, you forget; forget you are injured; forget you are finished.
Arthur Nersesian, The Fuck-Up Perhaps the price of comfort is that life passes more rapidly. But for anyone who has lived in uneasiness, even for a short, memorable duration, it’s a trade-off that will gladly be made.
Franz Kafka There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.
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.
Franz Kafka, The Trial It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
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?
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man We got married: society’s solution to loneliness, lust and laundry.
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 Auster You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine And if all womankind banded together and took the male path, the world would turn into one huge brothel.
Graham Greene Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
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.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness We live as we dream–alone….
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.
Tanya Thompson, Assuming Names: A Con Artist’s Masquerade From what I’d witnessed, honesty didn’t really make anyone happy. The truth was a punch to the gut, and while you were falling, a knee to the face, then you could lie on the floor and bleed for a spell.
Franz Kafka I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.
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.
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man Give up all hope, all illusion, all desire..I’ve tried. I’ve tried and still I desire, I still desire not to desire and hope to be without hope and have the illusion I can be without illusions..Give up, I say. Give up everything, including the desire to be saved.
Franz Kafka The meaning of life is that it stops.
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.
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.
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
Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man I hated myself and the world because I had failed to face and accept the limitations of my self and of life. In literature this refusal is called romanticism; in psychology, neurosis.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
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.
Arthur Nersesian, The Fuck-Up As the components of your life are stripped away, after all the ambitions and hopes vaporize, you reach a self-reflective starkness– the repetitious plucking of a single overwound string.
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.
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.
David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four Uncle Eric holding court, proud the only time he ever left Yorkshire was to kill Germans.
Marquis de Sade In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
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.
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.
Joan Didion You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.
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.
Franz Kafka I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.
Marquis de Sade Either kill me or take me as I am, because I’ll be damned if I ever change.
Franz Kafka Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
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.
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.
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 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.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer “Nothing.” The thought went through my mind that it didn’t make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy.
Franz Kafka Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
Paul Auster, Invisible You’re too good for this world, and because of that the world will eventually crush you.
Franz Kafka A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Franz Kafka Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
Niccolò Machiavelli Never was anything great achieved without danger.
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.
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?
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.
Paul Neilan, Apathy and Other Small Victories If stealing a few saltshakers was wrong I didn’t want to be right.
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.
Franz Kafka All language is but a poor translation.
M Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine I was terrified as only grown men and women can be when they wake in the middle of the night and begin to realize, in the absolute silence and solitude all around them, that it is not only their dream that has woken them, that it is their whole way of life.
Franz Kafka I am free and that is why I am lost.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
Franz Kafka I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
Eryk Pruitt, HASHTAG She was like a redneck Yoko Ono.
Will Self Here we meet, on the page, naked and unadorned: shorn of class, race, gender, sexual identity, age and nationality.
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.