Category: books

“It’s pathetic how we can’t live with the things we can’t understand. How we need everything labeled and explained and deconstructed.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

“I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you don’t have to worry, you can’t change the past. The bad news is, you don’t have to worry, no matter how hard you try, you can’t change the past. The universe just doesn’t put up with that. We aren’t important enough. No one is. Even in our own lives. We’re not strong enough, willful enough, skilled enough in chronodiegetic manipulation to be able to just accidentally change the entire course of anything, even ourselves.”

Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

“Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.”

Francis Bacon, An Essay on Death

“We prepare ourselves for sudden deeds by the reiterated choice of good or evil that gradually determines character.”

George Eliot, Romola

“He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has.”

Epictetus, Fragments

“I tried to hang out with my peer group, Defne, Murat and Yudum, but was unable to assimilate myself to their mode of being. They seemed always to be waiting for something, for the removal of some obstacle – for a business to open, for the sun to move, or for someone to come back from going to get something. Whenever they actually did anything, like go in the water, eat lunch, or walk somewhere, they did it in an abstracted, halfhearted way, as if to show that this was just a side diversion from the main business of waiting. All they talked about was when the thing they were waiting for was going to happen. But whenever that thing did happen, nothing seemed to change. The sense of provisionality was the same, it just gradually found a new object.”

Elif Batuman, The Idiot

“I do not write for a select minority, which means nothing to me, nor for that adulated platonic entity known as ‘The Masses’. Both abstractions, so dear to the demagogue, I disbelieve in. I write for myself and for my friends, and I write to ease the passing of time.”

Jorge Luis Borges, The Book of Sand

“I channel the rote and the new and unseen. My head has always been the busiest of crossroads, a festival of happy and unhappy arrivals. In the hours before daybreak when I was a boy, god sent me words as visitors.”

Jim Shepard, Like You’d Understand, Anyway

“Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.”

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

“The future of the world lies with the yellow man and the brown man now that our erstwhile master, the white-skinned man, has wasted himself through buggery, cell phone usage, and drug abuse.”

Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger