Category: literature

“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

“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

“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

“That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.”

George Saunders, Congratulations, by the way

“It is astonishing the lengths to which a person, or a people, will go in order to avoid a truthful mirror.”

James Baldwin, Going to Meet the Man

“The strong took from the weak, only the weak believed otherwise.”

Philipp Meyer, The Son

“Happiness is just a priest who reads us words of consolation while we walk up the steps to the hangman.”

William H. Gass, The Tunnel