Everything important has been said before. ~Alfred North Whitehead

There is nothing that cuts you down to size like coming to some strange and marvelous place where no one even stops to notice that you stare about you. ~Richard Adams, Watership Down

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it. ~Lloyd Alexander

Every movie is a road movie. Every novel is a mystery. Every tortilla chip is sacred. ~Sherman Alexie

Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives. ~Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

If we were a people more given to revealing secrets, we might raise monuments and sacrifice to the memories of our poets, but slavery cured us of that weakness. It may be enough, however, to have it said that we survive in exact relationship to the dedication of our poets (includes preachers, musicians and blues singers). ~Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise. ~Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What an absurd notion that women have not intellectual and moral faculties sufficent for anything else but domestic concerns! ~Susan B. Anthony

The world I create in writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. ~Gloria Anzaldua

Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation! ~Jane Austen

Thank Heaven! I am going tomorrow where I shall find a man who has not one agreeable quality, who has neither manners nor sense to recommend him. Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing, after all. ~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. --We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb. ~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion and sometimes an indirect boast. ~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Reflection must be reserved for solitary hours; whenever she was alone, she gave way to it as the greatest relief; and not a day went by without a solitary walk, in which she might indulge in all the delight of unpleasant reflections. ~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Upon the whole, therefore, she found what had been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had looked forward with impatient desire, did not, in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. ~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it. ~Sydie Back

This knowledge has stayed with me longest, how we resist what we know to be true and blame the makeup of our bodies in their endless beauty, reminders of what we must leave and come to, the ivory and roses of flesh bringing us hallelujahs of ecstasy echoing long after decay has begun. ~Kim Barnes, "The Smell of Rain"

What we don't know will hurt us,/but not yet. Tomorrow/is a tease, forever gaining in accuracy/what it lacks in momentum,/rising and falling, setting us up like dust/in the bright crosshairs. ~Dorothy Barresi, "Chin Music (II)"

It appeared to me that a lot of getting by in hard times had to do with tongue-holding. It didn't come all that natural to me. ~Patricia Beatty, Turn Homeward, Hannalee

Words are all we have. ~Samuel Beckett

All words are pegs to hang ideas on. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Truth is a hard deer to hunt. If you eat too much truth at once, you might die of the truth. ~Stephen Vincent Benet, "By the Waters of Babylon"

Exuberance is beauty. ~William Blake

How can I trust memory, which slips and wobbles and grinds its erratic furrows like a bald-tired truck fighting for traction on a wet gumbo road? ~Mary Clearman Blew, "The Sow in the River"

Just as a nervous breakdown may be the sane response to insane circumstances--for example, combat--art may be sort of a safety response to violent stimulus. For example, the news. ~Bono

Revolution starts at home, in your heart, in your refusal to compromise your beliefs and your values. I'm not interested in politics like fighting back with sticks and stones, but in the politics of love. I think there is nothing more radical than two people's loving each other, because it's so infrequent. ~Bono

See, I'm a guy with no midrange. I'm all bottom and all top, emotionally. I let people take advantage of me way past the point others let people go. But when I break, I really break. Watch out. ~Bono

Frisbeterians believe that when they die their soul goes up on the roof and they can't get it down. ~Bono

It is a remarkable thing to think that we can, if we get up off our ass, change the world. ~Bono

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. ~Jorge Luis Borges

The first thing you learn in life is you're a fool. The last thing you learn in life is you're the same fool. ~Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

Time is so strange and life is twice as strange. ~Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine

A good night's sleep, or a ten-minute brawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine. ~Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine

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

Libraries raised me. ~Ray Bradbury

In communist countries, you execute your poets. In the free world, the poets execute themselves. ~Kate Braverman

Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul. ~Joseph Brodsky

It is strange people should be so greedy, when they are alone in the world! ~Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Alas, for the effects of bad tea and bad temper! ~Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

In a perfect world, mothers would remind their daughters each morning of how beautiful their strong noses are, or how special their curly red hair is. ~Bobbi Brown

Ah, but a man's reach/Should exceed his grasp,/Or what's a heaven for? ~Robert Browning

You get so alone at times that it just makes sense. ~Charles Bukowski

To me Art (poetry) is a continuous and continuing process and that when a man fails to write good poetry he fails to live fully or well. ~Charles Bukowski

I have seen too many men wilt and go silly under a little light, and then they continue to write and get published, turning out pure crap under a name that has become a bad habit. The next poem is all that counts. You can't stand on past poems. ~Charles Bukowski

Dog is much admired by Man because he believes in the hand which feeds him. A perfect set-up. For 13 cents a day you've got a hired killer who thinks you are god. A dog can't tell a Nazi from a Republican from a Commie from a Democrat and, many times, neither can I. ~Charles Bukowski

It's not pretty being easy. ~Bumper sticker

Today is the first day of the wreck of your life. ~Becky Burke

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than be a success at something I hate. ~George Burns

When I buy a new book, I read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side. ~Harry Burns

It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative. ~John Burroughs, The Light of Day

Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it. ~Octavia Butler

The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too. ~Samuel Butler

Live to the point of tears. ~Albert Camus

Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. ~Truman Capote

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. ~George Carlin

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. ~Agatha Christie

If you're going through Hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

That's one of the greatest curses ever inflicted on the human race, memory. ~Citizen Kane

She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next. ~Beverley Cleary, Ramona the Pest

Nothing in the whole world felt as good as being able to make something from a sudden idea. ~Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby, Age 8

How could she stay out of mix-ups when she never knew what would suddenly turn into a mix-up? ~Beverly Cleary, Ramona the Brave

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm. ~Colette

There are moments that stop the heart, that catch the breath, that halt the beat of blood in your veins, and you are suspended in time, held between life and death, and you wait for something to bring you back again. ~Robert Cormier, Fade

You could reason with someone who was halfway educated and appeal to his intelligence, but I felt helpless in the face of utter stupidity. ~Robert Cormier, Fade

A writer must take risks, defy the odds, be a bit obsessed and a little mad. ~Robert Cormier

One thing is certain in life. Just when things are going well, soon afterward they are certain to go wrong. It's just the way things are meant to be. ~Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

In this world are very few things made from logic alone. It is illogical for man to be too logical. Some things we must just let stand. The mystery is more important than any possible explanation. The searcher after truth must search with humanity. Ruthless logic is the sign of a limited mind. The truth can only add to the sum of what you know, while a harmless mystery left unexplored often adds to the meaning of life. When a truth is not so important, it is better left as a mystery. ~Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

I feel like I'm addicted to the printed word. ~Paula Danziger, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit)

Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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. ~Philip K. Dick

Life is made of ever so many pairings welded together. ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Startop, younger in years and appearance, was reading and holding his head as if he thought himself in danger of exploding it with too strong a charge of knowledge. ~Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

An idea, like a ghost, according to the common notion of ghosts, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself. ~Charles Dickens

A word is dead/When it is said./Some say./I say it just/Begins to live/That day. ~Emily Dickinson

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. ~Emily Dickinson

I think you're the least fucked-up person I've ever met/And that may be as close to the real thing as I ever get. ~Ani DiFranco, "The Diner"

When I say you sucked my brain out/the English translation/Is I am in love with you/and it is no fun. ~Ani DiFranco, "Dilate"

I'm singing now because my tear ducts are too tired/my mind is disconnected, but my heart is wired. ~Ani DiFranco, "Fire Door"

The cure for anything is salt water--sweat, tears, or the sea. Isak Dinesen

Anyway, I jabber too much. That's why I don't do anything. Or maybe it's the other way around. I jabber because I don't do anything. ~Fydor Dosteyevsky, Crime and Punishment

You must realize, sir, that such blows not only fail to inflict pain, they are actually a pleasure...I could not get along without them. ~Fydor Dosteyevsky, Crime and Punishment

In a way there's only a fine shade of difference between the healthy and the deranged. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

For broad understanding and deep feeling, you need pain and suffering. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Three possibilities for her. Throw herself into the canal; wind up in the madhouse, or...at long last, plunge into depravity headlong, stupefying the mind and petrifying the heart. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

I am a sick man...I am a spiteful man. I am a most unpleasant man. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

For example, I'm terribly proud. I'm as mistrustful and as sensitive as a hunchback or a dwarf; but, in truth, I've experienced some moments when if someone had slapped my face, I might even have been grateful for it. I'm being serious. I probably would have been able to derive a peculiar sort of pleasure from it--the pleasure of despair, naturally, but the most intense pleasures occur in despair, especially when you're very acutely aware of the hopelessness of your own predicament. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

I've always considered myself smarter than everyone around me, and sometimes, believe me, I've been ashamed of it. At the least, all my life I've looked away and never could look people straight in the eye. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

Can a man possessing conciousness ever really respect himself? ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

Perhaps a normal man is supposed to be stupid--how do we know? Perhaps it's even very beautiful. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

Anything seems commonplace, once explained. ~Arthur Conan Doyle

Death is the only really serious preoccupation in life. ~Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Christo

I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours. ~Bob Dylan

We like lists because we don't want to die. ~Umberto Eco

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. ~Albert Einstein

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. ~Albert Einstein

I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life. ~Albert Einstein

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. ~Albert Einstein

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. ~Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge. ~Albert Einsten

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles Eliot

Animals are such agreeable friends. ~George Eliot

It is never to late to be what you might have been. ~George Eliot

This is the way the world ends/This is the way the world ends/This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper. ~T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"

Do I dare/Disturb the universe?/In a minute there is time/For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. ~T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. ~T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

We have lingered in the chambers/of the sea/By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed/red and brown/Till human voices wake us,/and we drown ~T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tomorrow night is nothing but one long sleepless wrestle with yesterday's omissions and regrets. ~William Faulkner

The scattered tea goes with the leaves and every day a sunset dies. ~William Faulkner

Time is dead as long as it's being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. ~William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

I was within and without simultaneously, enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustable variety of life. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

"Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!" ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Almost five years! There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams--not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther....And one fine morning-- ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack-Up"

There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Sensible Thing"

A writer's temperament is continually making him do things he can never repair. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

We have two or three great moving experiences in our lives--experiences so great and moving that it doesn't seem at the time that anyone else has been so caught up and pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, "One Hundred False Starts"

So they were desperately in love and being desperately in love involves a desperate existence. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

And in the end, we were all just humans...drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

I don't just want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally. ~Zelda Fitzgerald

Both of us are very splashy, vivid pictures, those kind with the details left out, but I know our colors will blend, and I think we'll look very well hanging beside each other in the gallery of life. ~Zelda Fitzgerald

I am tired of rummaging my head to understand a situation that would be difficult enough if I were completely lucid. ~Zelda Fitzgerald

All I ask of in the world is just one day after another with nothing planned. ~Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

If you ever get in real trouble, don't panic. Sit down and think about it. Remember two things, always. There must be some way out of it and there must be humor in it somewhere. ~Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

Among Freud's least quoted statements, but to me one of his most comforting, is "The only thing about masturbation to be ashamed of is doing it badly." ~Al Franken

Skepticism turns to cynicism, which leads to apathy and despair, which can cause sleeplessness, dry-mouth, and loss of sex drive. ~Al Franken

Don't bother being nice. Being popular and well liked is not in your best interest. Let me be more clear; if you behave in a manner pleasing to most, then you are probably doing something wrong. The masses have never been arbiters of the sublime, and they often fail to recognize the truly great individual. Taking into account the public's regrettable lack of taste, it is incumbent upon you not to fit in.~Janeane Garafalo

"A pretty face is your best asset this season." As opposed to last season, when all the ugly girls had a free ride all the way through.~Janeane Garafalo

I hate it when politicians say "The American people are not stupid." Since fucking when? ~Janeane Garafalo

I despise in others my own characteristics. ~Janeane Garafalo

I think only stupid people have good relationships. ~Enid, Ghost World

And is Heaven any different from where we are? How could it be better or worse? ~Allen Ginsberg, Iron Horse

Your novel was a world that is dead, and the characters are still alive walking through the same labyrinth on the other side of death, which is the last page of the written book. ~Allen Ginsberg, letter to Jack Kerouac, 1/21/50

I am learning by the week, but my poesy is still not my own. New rhyme, new me me me in words. I am not all this carven rhetoric. ~Allen Ginsberg, letter to Jack Kerouac, 7/48

I love both puppies and kitties. I could just scrunch up their little faces! ~Jeff Goldblum

As soon as you're interested in what is good taste, then you're in bad taste land already. What's comfortable and what represents your life, what's unique and individual about you, that's style. ~Jeff Goldblum

You can't save your face and your ass at the same time. ~Graffiti

Fuck solids. ~Graffiti, Springfield, MA bus station

How theraputic it is to surrond yourself with people stranger than yourself. ~Spalding Gray

In love, as in in pain, in shock, in trouble. ~Germaine Greer

Eventually it comes to you: The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely. ~Lorraine Hansberry

Clevinger had a mind, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf had noticed that people with minds tended to get pretty smart at times.~Joseph Heller, Catch-22

"Why don't you ever whip me?" she pouted one night. "Because I haven't the time," he snapped at her impatiently. "I haven't the time. Don't you know there's a parade going on?"~Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.~Joseph Heller, Catch-22

You see? You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You're dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!~Joseph Heller, Catch-22

The view that women are infantile and emotional creatures, and as such, incapable of responsibility and independence is the work of the masculine tendency to lower women's self-respect. ~Karen Horney

I play it cool/And dig all jive./That's the reason/I stay alive./My motto,/As I live and learn,/is:/Dig and Be Dug/In Return. ~Langston Hughes

The supreme ordeal, let us say rather, the only ordeal, is the loss of the beloved being. ~Victor Hugo, Les Misrebles

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. ~Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population-the intelligent ones or the fools? I think we can agree it's the fools, no matter where you go in the world, it's the fools that form the overwhelming majority. But I'll be damned if that means it's right the fools should dominate the intelligent. ~Henrik Ibsen, "An Enemy of the People"

Fact is after all a kind of mindreading. ~Sarah Orne Jewett

The definition of a stupid thing is something that if you do everything right, you still get hurt. Fire-eating and love are stupid things. ~Penn Jillette

Our beauties are not ours. ~Ben Johnson

I didn't believe in systems. Everything human was imperfect and ultimately absurd. What did I believe in then? In humor. In laughing at systems, at people, at one's self. In laughing even at one's need to laugh all the time. In seeing life as contradictory, many-sided, various, funny, tragic, and with moments of outrageous beauty. In seeing life as a fruitcake, including delicious plums and bad peanuts, but meant to be devoured hungrily all the same because you couldn't feast on the plums without also sometimes being poisoned by the peanuts. ~Erica Jong, Fear of Flying

I had been a feminist all my life, but the big problem was how to make your feminism jibe with you unappeasable hunger for male bodies. ~Erica Jong, Fear of Flying

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads. ~Erica Jong

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the dog. ~Franz Kafka

Give me books, fruit, French wine, and fine weather and a little music out-of-doors played by someone I do not know. ~John Keats

Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know in this world, and all ye need to know. ~John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

Oh, for a life of sensations rather than thoughts. ~John Keats

Many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death. ~John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale"

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~Helen Keller

Rest and be kind. ~Jack Kerouac, The Golden Eternity

Thinking/Is just like not thinking/So I don't have to think/any more ~Jack Kerouac

What is the feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plan till you see their specks dispersing?~Jack Kerouac

Wild typewritten pages for yr own amusement ~Jack Kerouac, "20 essentials for modern prose"

Not much time to say much in the heat of wild manifold activities this very minute... ~Jack Kerouac, letter to Neal Cassady

Absolutely no way to escape enigmans.~Jack Kerouac

(see actually I'm not old and sick at all but the maddest liver in the world right now as well as the best watcher and that's no sneezing thing ~Jack Kerouac

...rolling through October climaxes of leaves falling and Halloween soon and I got red October shirt on me so sad that every year we have to lose our October!~Jack Kerouac

I'd also gone through an entire year of celibacy based on my feeling that lust was the direct cause of birth which was the direct cause of suffering and death. ~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

In fact I realized I had no guts anyway, which I've long known. But I have joy. ~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Pain or love or danger makes you real again.~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

The only alternative to sleeping out, hopping freights, and doing what I wanted, I saw in a vision would be to just sit with a hundred other patients in front of a nice television set in a madhouse, where we could be "supervised."~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

The Four Inevitabilities: 1. Musty Books. 2. Uninteresting Nature. 3. Dull Existence. 4. Blank Nirvana, buy that boy.~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

But let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Cats yawn because they realize that there's nothing to do. ~Jack Kerouac

I petted the dogs who didn't argue with me ever. All dogs love God. They're wiser than their masters. ~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

P.S. Most of this bookwas written in my bedroom after midnight--innocent, poor, unmarried and mad. ~Jack Kerouac, inscription of first-edition The Town and the City to Stuart Groves, 3/18/50

Love--and all its complicated ramifications, Draeger believed--actually does conquer all; Love--or the Fear of Not Having It, or the worry about Not Having Enough of It, or the Terror of Losing it--certainly does conquer all. ~Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

You, and in fact quite a lot of your generation, have in some way been exiled from that particular sanctuary. It's become almost impossible for someone to "go mad" in the classical sense. At one time people conveniently "went mad" and were never heard from again. Like a character in a romantic novel. But now you are too hip to yourself on a psychological level. You all are too intimate with too many of the symptoms of insanity to be caught completely off your guard. ~Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

In the first reawakening chaos a quick glance about at the morning proved as insufficent as it had the night before. For once again I was able to establish the where but not the when. Certain facts were apparent: dark; cold; thundering boots; quilts; pillow; light under the door--the materials of reality--but I could not pin these materials down in time. And the raw materials of reality without that glue of time are materials adrift and reality is as meaningless as the balsa parts of a model airplane scattered to the wind... ~Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

A cigar is just a cigar, but a good woman is a fuck. ~Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

Swollen heart. This is an insidious malady chiefly common in that mythical organ that pumps life through the veins of the ego: care, coronary care, complicated by galloping fear. The go-away-closer disease. Starving for contact and calling it poison when it is offered. We learn young to be leery of contact: Never open up, we learn...you want somebody running their dirty old fingers over your soul's privates? Never accept candy from strangers or from friends. Sneak off a sack of gumdrops when nobody's looking if you can, but don't accept, never accept...you want somebody taking advantage? And above all, never care, never never never care. Because it is caring that lulls you into letting down your guard and leaving up your shades...you want some fink knowing what you are really like down inside? ~Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

The past is funny, Viv; it never seems to let things lie, finished. It never seems to stay in place as it should. ~Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

None of the other kids, with their level-headed feet-on-the-ground daddies--even those whose daddies had been killed in accidents--had to take such risks to get along, because none of them had fanatics for fathers. ~Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. ~Soren Kierkegaard

All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible. ~T.E. Lawrence

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

I don't want to be a propagandist, no matter how good the cause. I want to tell stories. It's just that the stories have to square with my consciousness as a woman and my conscience as a human being. ~Ursula K. LeGuin

Music is a hidden arithmetic exercise of the soul, which does not know that it is counting. ~Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

We who are alive must make clear, as she could not, the distinction between creativity and self-destruction. ~Denise Levertov, eulogy of Anne Sexton

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ~Jack London

Sometimes being yourself is like hanging from meathooks for years on end with your entrails blowing in the wind, and you get to forgetting why it's a good thing. ~Erika Lopez

The devil never has an unemployment problem! ~Office marquee

History belongs to she who holds the pen...If we don't tell our stories, they won't be told. ~Julianne Malveaux

Love is a dirty trick played on us to achieve the continuation of the species. ~W. Somerset Maugham

We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour, in other words, we are the hero of our own story. ~Mary McCarthy

It's lovely to know that the world can't interfere with the inside of your head. ~Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes

Every comedian secretly wants to be a rock star, and conversely, every rock star secretly wants to be a comedian. ~Kevin McDonald

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. ~Margaret Mead

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man. ~Margaret Mead

It's not true that life is one damn thing after another--it's one damn thing over and over. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied/Who told me time would ease me of my pain! ~Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Time does not bring relief; all you have lied"

Death devours all lovely things. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Time does not bring relief; all you have lied"

Oh, do not weep these tears saltier than the flung spray!--/Weepers are the sea's brides.../I mean this the drowning way. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be recreated - not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain. ~Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance

She carried a notebook with her everywhere and brimmed with ideas. She often woke in the night and switched on the light to scribble down her thoughts. ~Josephine Moon, The Tea Chest

It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on. ~Marilyn Monroe

Are you challenging my constitutional right to make nude phone calls? ~Bill McNeal, NewsRadio

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but his inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~Reinhold Niebuhr

The thought of suicide is a great source of comfort: with it a calm passage is to be made across many a bad night. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anais Nin

We write to taste life twice, in mthe moment and in retrospection. ~Anais Nin

We're all very screwed up individuals. We come from broken homes, and we have emotional problems and this is our way of working things out. If we didn't have this venue, we'd probably be serial killers or something. ~Scott Dikkers, The Onion

Eventually, it will occur to you that every interesting thing that's happened in your life actually happened to someone around you, and you just watched. ~Horoscope, The Onion

Just so you know, fate doesn't necessarily have something special in store for you just because nothing particularly notable has happened to you yet. ~Horoscope, The Onion

After all is said and done, no one will have said or done anything involving you in any way. ~Horoscope, The Onion

All the Democrats I've talked to know exactly what they stand for: not being Republicans. ~The Onion

Razors pain you;/Rivers are damp;/Acids stain you;/And drugs cause cramp;/Guns aren't lawful;/Nooses give;/Gas smells awful;/You might as well live. ~Dorothy Parker, "Resume"

Days pass and months pass and years pass and you light the holy candle of yourself by the glimmer of someone else, and just when you think you're burned out on her, you realize that she's the single thing that raises you above yourself. ~Michael Paterniti, Driving Mr. Albert

In our national parlance, what's usually meant by the word "maverick" is someone who skirts the edge of sanity--or is so insane as to appear sane--who then does something absolutely insane and yet, after the passage of time, and especially if the maverick's creation yields a profit of any kind, is deemed less and less insane until the maverick worms his or her way into the fibers of history. Then generations grow to envy the ingenuity and courage of the maverick while glossing over the maverick's genetic kookiness. On such shoulders, a country rises. ~Michael Paterniti, Driving Mr. Albert

A REASON TO LIVE. You must have a reason why. My reasoning is gone. May I rest in pieces. ~Personal ad in The San Diego Reader

Books are like truth serum--if you don't read, you can't tell what's real. ~Rodman Philbrick, Freak the Mighty

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~Pablo Picasso

Never bet on an eggplant. ~Daniel Pinkwater, Borgel

Looking back over my life so far I am able to remember specific days that were perfect. These tend to be days, and parts of days, in which nothing in particular happened, except that I was utterly happy. ~Daniel Pinkwater

There's something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. Whenever I'm sad I'm going to die, or so nervous I can't sleep, or in love with somebody I won't be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: "I'll go take a hot bath."~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell.~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Dying/Is an art, like everything else./I do it exceptionally well. ~Sylvia Plath, "Lady Lazarus"

I am not cruel, only truthful. ~Sylvia Plath, "Mirror"

I am outcast on a cold star, unable to feel anything but an awful helpless numbness. I look down into the warm, earthy world. Into a nest of lovers' beds, baby cribs, meal tables, all the solid commerce of life in this earth, and feel apart, enclosed in a wall of glass. ~Sylvia Plath

I want, I think, to be omniscient. I think I would like to call myself "the girl who wanted to be God." Yet if I were not in this body where would I be-perhaps I am destined to be classified and qualified. But, oh, I cry out against it.~Sylvia Plath

In spite of everything, I still have my good old sense of humor.~Sylvia Plath

I can't think logically about who I am or where I am going. I have been very ecstatic, horribly depressed, shocked, elated, enlightened, and enervated. ~Sylvia Plath

I believe that one should be able to control and manipulate experiences, even the most terrifying, like madness, being tortured...with an informed and intelligent mind.~Sylvia Plath

I am I--I am powerful, but to what extent? I am I.~Sylvia Plath

All obscurity/Starts with a danger. ~Sylvia Plath, "Full Fathom Five"

I'm sarcastic, skeptical, and sometimes callous because I'm still afraid, deep down, of letting myself be hurt.~Sylvia Plath

I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root./It is what you fear./I do not fear it: I have been there. ~Sylvia Plath, "Elm"

The blood jet is poetry/There is no stopping it. ~Sylvia Plath, "Kindness"

I can't deceive myself out of the bare stark realization that no matter how enthusiastic you are, no matter how sure that character is fate, nothing is real, past or future, when you are alone in your room with the clock ticking loudly into the false cheerful brilliance of the electric light. And if you have no past or future, which, after all, is all that the present is made of, why then you may as well dispose of the empty shell of present and commit suicide.~Sylvia Plath

Pretty soon, the only doubt in my mind was the precise time and method of committing suicide. The only alternative I could see was an eternity of hell for the rest of my life in a mental hospital, and I was going to use my last ounce of free choice and choose a quick clean ending.~Sylvia Plath

Death may whiten in sun or out of it. ~Sylvia Plath, "Moonrise"

The night sky is only a sort of carbon paper,/Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars/Letting in the light, peephole after peephole--/A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things. ~Sylvia Plath, "Insomniac"

The city is a map of cheerful twitters now,/And everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank,/Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed. ~Sylvia Plath

What I hate is the idea of being under a man's thumb. A man doesn't have a worry in the world, while I've got a baby hanging over my head like a big stick, to keep me in line.~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

How did I know that someday--at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere--the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, wouldn't descend again?~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Over coffee and orange juice the embryonic suicide brightens visibly. ~Sylvia Plath

When you give someone your whole heart, and he doesn't want it, you cannot take it back, it's gone forever.~Sylvia Plath

Let's face it: I'm scared, scared and frozen. First, I guess, I'm afraid for myself...the old primitive urge for survival. It's getting so I live every moment with terrible intensity.~Sylvia Plath

I've got to have something. I want to stop it all, the whole monumental grotesque joke, before it's too late. But writing poems and letters doesn't seem to do much good.~Sylvia Plath

Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams.~Sylvia Plath

If I didn't think, I'd be much happier; if I didn't have any sex organs, I wouldn't waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time.~Sylvia Plath

If only I can find him...the man who will be intelligent, yet physically magnetic and personable. If I can offer that combination, why shouldn't I expect it in a man?~Sylvia Plath

Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship--but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.~Sylvia Plath

The reason I haven't been writing in this book for so long is partly that I haven't had one decent coherent thought to put down.~Sylvia Plath

I think I am worthwhile just because I have optical nerves and can try to put down what they perceive. What a fool!~Sylvia Plath

Not to be sentimental, as I sound, but why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and-cream Mother-Goose-world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life?~Sylvia Plath

To yearn for an organism of the opposite sex to comprehend and heighten your thoughts and instincts, and to realize that most American males worship woman as a sex machine with rounded breasts and a convenient opening in the vagina, as a painted doll who shouldn't have a thought in her pretty head other than cooking a steak dinner and comforting him in bed after a hard 9-5 day at a routine business job.~Sylvia Plath

I want to express my being as fully as I can because I somewhere picked up the idea that I can justify my being alive that way.~Sylvia Plath

I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad, or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.~Sylvia Plath

And you grit your teeth, despising yourself for your tremulous sensitivity, and wondering how human beings can suffer their individualities to be mercilessly crushed under a machinelike dictatorship, be it of industry, state or organization, all their lives long.~Sylvia Plath

Some pale, hueless flicker of sensitivity is in me. God, must I lose it in cooking scrambled eggs for a man...~Sylvia Plath

It is sad to be able only to mouth other poets. I want someone to mouth me.~Sylvia Plath

Why am I obsessed with the idea I can justify myself by getting manuscripts published? Is it an escape--an excuse for any social failure--so I can say "No, I don't go out for many extracurricular activities, but I spend a lot of time writing."~Sylvia Plath

Do I like to write? Why? About what? Will I give up and say, "Living and feeding a man's insatiable guts and begetting children occupies my whole life. Don't have time to write"? ~Sylvia Plath

I do not love; I do not love anybody except myself. That is a rather shocking thing to admit.~Sylvia Plath

Happy! That is indefinable as far as states of being go.~Sylvia Plath

Above all, CAN A SELFISH EGO-CENTRIC JEALOUS AND UNIMAGINATIVE FEMALE WRITE A DAMN THING WORTHWHILE?~Sylvia Plath

Why can't I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which fits best and is most becoming? ~Sylvia Plath

What moron said that knowledge is power? Knowledge is power only if it doesn't depress you so much that it leaves you in an immobile heap at the end of your bed. ~Paula Poundstone

For even if we have the sensation of being always surrounded by our own soul, it is not as though by a motionless prison; rather, we are in some sense borne along with it in a perpetual leap to go beyond it, to reach the outside, with a sort of discouragement as we hear around us always that same resonance, which is not an echo from outside but the resoundiong of an internal vibration. We try to rediscover in things, now precious because of it, the glimmer of our soul projected on them; we are disappointed to find that they seem to lack in nature the charm they derived in our thoughts from the proximity of certain ideas; at times we convert all the forces of that soul into cunning, into magnificence, in order to have an effect on people who are outside us, as we are well aware, and whom we will never reach. ~Marcel Proust, Swann's Way

Unfortunately, considering almost everything in the world I did not know what his opinion was. I did not doubt that it was entirely different from my own, since it came down from an unknown world toward which I was trying to rise. Persuaded that my thoughts would have looked like pure ineptitude to that perfect mind, I had made such a clean sweep of them all that, when by chance I happened to encounter in one of his books a thought that I had already had myself, my heart would swell as though a god in his goodness had given it back to me, had declared it legitimate and beautiful. ~Marcel Proust, Swann's Way

I think we're all in our private traps. Clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out. ~Norman Bates, Psycho

Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper. ~David Quaimen

My disciples ask me how to paint plum blossoms. I say, you adhere to what the ancient painter tried to avoid. You then are not like ordinary people. To not have a method is actually to have a method. ~Qi Baishi

When you get to the end of your rope--tie a knot in it and hang on. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

If they can put a man on the moon why can't they put one in me? ~Flash Rosenberg

Two things, almost incompatible, are united in me in a manner which I am unable to understand: a very ardent temperament, lively and tumultuous passions, and, at the same time, slowly developed and confused ideas, which never present themselves until it is too late. One might say that my heart and my mind do not belong to the same person. ~Jean-Jacques Rosseau, Confessions

I loved too sincerely, too completely, I venture to say, to be able to be happy easily. ~Jean-Jacques Rosseau, Confessions

I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different. Whether Nature has acted rightly or wrongly in destorying the mould in which she cast me can only be decided after I have been read. ~Jean-Jacques Rosseau, Confessions

October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace! ~Rainbow Rowell, "Attachments"

The secret, I don't know. I guess you've just got to find something you love to do and then do it for the rest of your life. ~Max Fischer, Rushmore

I didn't and don't want to be a "feminine" version or a diluted version or a special version or a subsidary version or an ancillary version or an adapted version of the heroes I admire. I want to be the heroes themselves. ~Joanna Russ

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so. ~Bertrand Russell

I have heard that storytelling starts with the body and ends with the body...but as a woman I worry about this. For most women, the body, like the story, is not a simple thing. It's a battlefield where lies and truths about power go at it. A woman's mind might wander from skirt to skirt in that smoky place like a dislocated child, looking for some grounded legs to stand by, or on, for years. The woman might end up knowing herself only as a casualty, or recognizing herself only by her scars. While there may be some truth to such an identity, it is only a partial truth, and a potentially destructive one. I want a different story. ~Leslie Ryan, "The Other Side of Fire"

There are books in which the footnotes or comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin are more interesting than the text. The world is one of these books. ~George Santayana

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts. ~Carl Sandburg, "Autumn Movement"

There is no greater burden than great potential. ~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts

If you study life deeply, its profundity will seize you suddenly with dizziness. ~Albert Schweitzer

I'm not afraid to fail. I'm afraid to be mediocre. ~Junior Seau

A history of listening to Top 40 radio had left me with a ridiculous and cliched notion of love. I had never entertained the feeling myself but knew that it meant never having to say you're sorry. It was a many-splendored thing. Love was a rose and a hammer. Both blind and all-seeing, it made the world go round. ~David Sedaris, "A Plague of Tics"

"College is the best thing that can ever happen to you," my father used to say, and he was right, for it was there that I discovered drugs, drinking, and smoking. ~David Sedaris, "A Plague of Tics"

My hands tend to be full enough dealing with people who hate me for who I am. Concentrate too hard on the millions who hate you for what you are and you'd likely turn into one of those unkempt, sloppy dressers who sag beneath the weight of the 200 political buttons they wear pinned to their coats and knapsacks. ~David Sedaris, "Something for Everyone"

Could I write all, the world would turn to stone. ~Caterina Sforza

This above all else; To thine own self be true. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

True, I talk of dreams/which are the children of an idle brain/Begot of nothing but vain fantasy/which is as thin a substance as the air. ~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Ay me! For aught, that I could ever read,/Could ever hear by tale or history,/The course of true love never did run smooth. ~William Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays. ~William Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,/Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend/More than cool reason ever comprehends./The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,/Are of imagination all compact. ~William Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Love all/Trust a few/Do harm to none.~William Shakespeare

O God, God,/How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable/Seem to me all the uses of this world! ~William Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams. ~William Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

But words are words. I never yet did hear/That the bruised heart was pieced through the ear. ~William Shakespeare, "Othello"

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind, when it has once seized on it, like a lichen on the rock. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Alas! life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Like a poem badly written/We are verses out of rhythm/Couplets out of rhyme/In syncopated time ~Simon and Garfunkel, "The Dangling Conversation"

I have my books and my poetry to protect me. ~Simon and Garfunkel, "I Am a Rock"

Preserve your memories/They're all that's left you. ~Simon and Garfunkel, "Bookends"

Sometimes even music can't substitute for tears. ~Paul Simon

They did it because they're stupid. That's why everybody does everything. ~Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

I am not an eccentric. It's just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel in a pool of catfish. ~Edith Sitwell

Isn't it comforting to know that being miserable is still better than being an idiot? ~Claire, Six Feet Under

It is unlikely that you can recall anyone telling you not to eat human flesh. ~Sociology textbook

Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to them for blowing their minds. ~Susan Sontag

Wisdom is a dreadful thing when it brings no knowledge to its possessor. ~Sophocles, "Oedipus Rex"

It's hard being a person/We all know that. ~William Stafford

I've learned one hell of a lot about men in my lifetime. They're all right to take to bed, but you sure better never let them get a stranglehold on you. ~Blaze Starr

There ain't no answer. There ain't going to be an any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer. ~Gertrude Stein

Have you tried thinking like a shower? ~Chris Stevens

Women are the real architects of society. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

When you know you are dying, self-deceptions fly from your bedside like embers off a bonfire. ~Darin Strauss, Chang and Eng

Sometimes one learns too early, as I did, what the world is capable of. ~Darin Strauss, Chang and Eng

Passion and platonic friendliness, often contrary siblings, frequently wear similar faces to hide the great distance between them. ~Darin Strauss, Chang and Eng

I do not need a man. I am devoted to masturbation. I think it's probably one of the most pleasurable experiences in life. ~Gloria Stuart

Many of the artifacts of my house had become potential devices for my own destruction: the attic rafters (and an outside maple or two) a means to hang myself, the garage a place to inhale carbon monoxide, the bathtub a vessel to receive the flow from my opened arteries. The kitchen knives in their drawers had but one purpose for me. ~William Styron

Sometimes it's interesting to see just how bad bad writing can be. ~Joe, Sunset Blvd.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,/To rust unburnished, not to shine in use! ~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Ulysses"

Death closes all: but something ere the end,/Some work of noble note, may yet be done. ~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Ulysses"

One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man. ~Marlo Thomas

I do not put bees on my scrotum until it's swollen, as a fetish. ~Scott Thompson

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. ~Henry David Thoreau

If you have tried to build castles in the air, your work need not be lost--that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. ~Henry David Thoreau

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes. ~Henry David Thoreau

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. ~Henry David Thoreau

The tree is no more a solid in the earth, breaking into lesser solids bathed in chiaroscuro. There is pressure and release. Each movement, like tracks in the snow, is recorded and often loved for itself. The Great Dragon is breathing sky, thunder, and shadow; wisdom and spirit vitalized. ~Mark Tobey

Ivan Ilyich's life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible. ~Leo Tolstoy, "The Death of Ivan Ilyich"

Always the same. Now a spark of hope flashes up, then a sea of despair rages, and always pain; always pain, always despair, and always the same. ~Leo Tolstoy, "The Death of Ivan Ilyich"

Every year you wait, long ago gets farther away.~Mark Twain

There is no accounting for human beings.~Mark Twain

My heart got to thumping. You can't reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns. ~Mark Twain, A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

No man, deep down in the privacy of his heart, has any considerable respect for himself.~Mark Twain

A pessimist is a well-informed optimist. ~Mark Twain

I'm alone in this world/and a fucked up world it is too. ~U2, "Wake Up Dead Man"

And you hunger for the time/time to heal, desire time/and your earth moves beneath your own dream landscape. ~U2, "A Sort of Homecoming"

Put flowers in the mud, baby. ~U2, "Zoorpopa"

Well-behaved women rarely make history. ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Fraud makes the world go round. ~John Updike, Rabbit, Run

If you're telling me I'm not mature, that's one thing I don't cry over since as far as I can make out it's the same thing as being dead. ~John Updike, Rabbit, Run

Nothing feels worse than other people's good times. ~John Updike, Rabbit Redux

Accent the ugly until it becomes gorgeous. ~John Updike, Rabbit Redux

So much love, too much love, it is our madness, it is rotting us out, exploding us like dandelion polls. ~John Updike, Rabbit Redux

Days, pale slices between nights, they blend, not exactly alike, transparencies so lightly tinted that only stacked all together do they darken to a fatal shade. ~John Updike, Rabbit Redux

How can the planet keep turning and turning and not get so bored it explodes? ~John Updike, Rabbit Redux

Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence, whether much that is glorious, whether all that is profound, does not spring from disease of thought, from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. ~Vinvent van Gogh

Here's one thing I never say anymore: "These people can't be that stupid, can they?" ~George Vecsey

I have no scepter, but I have a pen. ~Voltaire

A hundred times I wanted to kill myself, but always I loved life more. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our worst instincts; is anything more stupid than choosing to carry a burden that really one wants to cast on the ground? to hold existence in horror, and yet cling to it? to fondle the serpent which devours us till it has eaten out our heart? ~Voltaire, Candide

"What's optimism?" said Cacambo. "Alas," said Candide, "it is mania for saying things are well when one is in hell." ~Voltaire, Candide

Just because something feels better than anything else, that doesn't mean it's good for you. ~Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

Psychology: (103.) Unk, the big trouble with dumb bastards is they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan

What Beatrice had done with her face, actually, was what any plain girl could do. She had overlaid it with dignity, suffering, intelligence, and a piquant dash of bitchiness. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan

"The insane, on occasion, are not without their charms," said Beatrice. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan

Men are jerks. Women are psychotic. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

If there is a God, He sure hates people. That's all I can say. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

Sigmund Freud said he didn't know what women wanted. I know what women want. They want a whole lot of people to talk to. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

Everybody likes a few surprises; it's a perfectly natural human craving. ~Jean Webster, Daddy Long-Legs

When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. ~Mae West

A hard man is good to find. ~Mae West

To err is human but it feels divine. ~Mae West

I'm the girl who lost her reputation and never missed it. ~Mae West

If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time. ~Edith Wharton

There's no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another. ~E.B. White

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem, but I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White

It beats me how Freud could say "What do women want?" as if we all must want the same thing. ~Katharine Whitehorn

All words are spiritual--nothing is more spiritual than words. ~Walt Whitman, An American Primer

What beauty there is in words! What a lurking curious charm in the sound some words! ~Walt Whitman

The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he absorbed it. ~Walt Whitman

Do I contradict myself?/Very well then I contradict myself,/(I am large, I contain multitudes.) ~Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,/And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,/And ceas'd the moment life appear'd./All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,/And to die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier. ~Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?/I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it. ~Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

Life is too important to be taken seriously. ~Oscar Wilde

In this world there are two tragedies--not getting what you want, and getting it. ~Oscar Wilde

There is no man who is not, at each moment, what he has been and what he will be. ~Oscar Wilde

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde

Wherever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense... ~Thornton Wilder, "Our Town"

Rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em. ~Webb Wilder

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. ~Ben Williams

There's this whole idea that you've got the blues and you're going to write. Bullshit. When I feel really bad, all I want to do is sit in front of the TV with the remote control and check out. ~Lucinda Williams

Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going. ~Tennessee Williams

You ever talk to a logical lunatic before? They're much worse than a plain lunatic. ~Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

He seemed a fool--everyone who didn't feel like me was a fool. I alone knew the truth about life, knew that it was all a miserable downward spiral that you could either admit to or ignore, but sooner or later we were all going to die. ~Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

Depression is a lot like that: Slowly, over the years, the data will accumulate in your heart and mind, a computer program for total negativity will build into your system, making life feel more and more unbearable. But you won't even notice it coming on, thinking that it is somehow normal, something about getting older, about turning eight or turning twelve or turning fifteen, and then one day you realize your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live. ~Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

The world was so freaky, he felt. Really very freaky indeed and no one was doing much about it. ~Paul Zindel, The Undertaker's Gone Bananas

You're a bore, I said to me. You're puny. You're lacking in quality, like a pair of factory-rejected Fruit of the Loom shorts. And this was without considering any sexual problems, since I've never had sex with anyone except myself. ~Paul Zindel, The Amazing and Death-Defying Diary of Eugene Dingman

"You must want to die," she had said once, and maybe that was true. Maybe I would rather be dead than to turn into the kind of grown-up people I knew. What was so hot about living anyway if people think you're a disturbing influence just because you still think about God and Death and the Universe and Love. ~Paul Zindel, The Pigman

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