Autumn > Autumn's Quotes

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  • #1
    Chuck Klosterman
    “I remember saying things, but I have no idea what was said. It was generally a friendly conversation.” —Associated Press reporter Jack Sullivan, attempting to recount a 3 A.M. exchange we had at a dinner party and inadvertently describing the past ten years of my life.”
    Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto

  • #2
    David Sedaris
    “A zoo is a good place to make a spectacle of yourself, as the people around you have creepier, more photogenic things to look at.”
    David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames

  • #3
    Henry David Thoreau
    “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

  • #4
    Michael Cunningham
    “We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep - it's as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we're very fortunate, by time itself. There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.”
    Michael Cunningham, The Hours

  • #5
    Jon Krakauer
    “make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
    Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

  • #6
    Jack Kerouac
    “What difference does it make after all?--anonymity in the world of men is better than fame in heaven, for what’s heaven? what’s earth? All in the mind.”
    Jack Kerouac, On the Road

  • #7
    Jack Kerouac
    “This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do.”
    Jack Kerouac, On the Road: the Original Scroll

  • #8
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Mother Night

  • #9
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    “There are plenty of good reasons for fighting...but no good reason to ever hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It's that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive....it's that part of an imbecile that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly.”
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Mother Night

  • #10
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    “I am eternally grateful for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.”
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Timequake

  • #11
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    “TING-A-LING, YOU SON OF A BITCH!”
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Timequake

  • #12
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    “Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Timequake

  • #13
    Chuck Palahniuk
    “No, it's not fair, but what makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven.”
    Chuck Palahniuk, Damned

  • #14
    Jeffrey Eugenides
    “There were some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only of the truest things. A Confession was a book like that. In it, Tolstoy related a Russian fable about a man who, being chased by a monster, jumps into a well. As the man is falling down the well, however, he sees there's a dragon at the bottom, waiting to eat him. Right then, the man notices a branch sticking out of the wall, and he grabs on to it, and hangs. This keeps the man from falling into the dragon's jaws, or being eaten by the monster above, but it turns out there's another little problem. Two mice, one black and one white, are scurrying around and around the branch, nibbling it. It's only a matter of time before they will chew through the branch, causing the man to fall. As the man contemplates his inescapable fate, he notices something else: from the end of the branch he's holding, a few drops of honey are dripping. The man sticks out his tongue to lick them. This, Tolstoy says, is our human predicament: we're the man clutching the branch. Death awaits us. There is no escape. And so we distract ourselves by licking whatever drops of honey come within our reach.”
    Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot

  • #15
    Hunter S. Thompson
    “Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives... and to the "good life", whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.”
    Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman

  • #16
    Neil Gaiman
    “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
    Neil Gaiman

  • #17
    Oscar Wilde
    “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
    Oscar Wilde

  • #18
    Oscar Wilde
    “The basis of optimism is sheer terror.”
    Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • #19
    Charles Bukowski
    “We are
    Born like this
    Into this
    Into these carefully mad wars
    Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
    Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
    Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
    Born into this
    Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
    Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
    Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
    Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes”
    Charles Bukowski

  • #20
    Charles Bukowski
    “If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.”
    Charles Bukowski, Factotum

  • #21
    Tom Wolfe
    “I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.”
    Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

  • #22
    Oscar Wilde
    “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
    Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • #23
    Roald Dahl
    “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
    Roald Dahl

  • #24
    Sylvia Plath
    “I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”
    Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

  • #25
    Edith Wharton
    “Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”
    Edith Wharton, Artemis to Actaeon and Other Verses

  • #26
    Timothy Leary
    “Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”
    Timothy Leary

  • #27
    J.D. Salinger
    “The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid.”
    J.D. Salinger, Nine Stories

  • #28
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • #29
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with Annotations - 1841-1844

  • #30
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance



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