MJ Nicholls
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1743 reviews
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MJ Nicholls

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W.G. Sebald
“It is thanks to my evening reading alone that I am still more or less sane.”
W.G. Sebald, Vertigo

Samuel Beckett
“The Tuesday scowls, the Wednesday growls, the Thursday curses, the Friday howls, the Saturday snores, the Sunday yawns, the Monday morns, the Monday morns. The whacks, the moans, the cracks, the groans, the welts, the squeaks, the belts, the shrieks, the pricks, the prayers, the kicks, the tears, the skelps, and the yelps.”
Samuel Beckett, Watt

Émile Zola
“From the moment I start a new novel, life’s just one endless torture. The first few chapters may go fairly well and I may feel there’s still a chance to prove my worth, but that feeling soon disappears and every day I feel less and less satisfied. I begin to say the book’s no good, far inferior to my earlier ones, until I’ve wrung torture out of every page, every sentence, every word, and the very commas begin to look excruciatingly ugly. Then, when it’s finished, what a relief! Not the blissful delight of the gentleman who goes into ecstasies over his own production, but the resentful relief of a porter dropping a burden that’s nearly broken his back . . . Then it starts all over again, and it’ll go on starting all over again till it grinds the life out of me, and I shall end my days furious with myself for lacking talent, for not leaving behind a more finished work, a bigger pile of books, and lie on my death-bed filled with awful doubts about the task I’ve done, wondering whether it was as it ought to have been, whether I ought not to have done this or that, expressing my last dying breath the wish that I might do it all over again!”
Émile Zola, The Masterpiece

Flann O'Brien
“I saw that my witticism was unperceived and quietly replaced it in the treasury of my mind.”
Flann O'Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds

Deborah Levy
“Be sure to enjoy language, experiment with ways of talking, be exuberant even when you don't feel like it because language can make your world a better place to live.”
Deborah Levy, Pillow Talk in Europe and Other Places

Reading Lists (Select)
2 chapters   —   updated Nov 22, 2016 01:50AM
Description: For reference, to avoid clogging my to-read list.
80277 The Kindred Spirits — 295 members — last activity Feb 12, 2020 05:20AM
Place to meet and talk about anything.
79311 Completists' Club — 417 members — last activity Nov 21, 2019 05:58AM
A group for those attempting to complete, or who have completed, the canons of their favourite writers. Share your canon-wide knowledge and opinion wi ...more
97302 The BURIED Book Club — 618 members — last activity Jul 07, 2020 10:56AM
88667 Alexander Theroux Ville — 90 members — last activity Jul 30, 2020 02:50PM
The Theroux revival continues. This group counts as a village forum for discussing the works of Alexander Theroux. Both scholars and the naive and cur ...more
118024 Dalkey Archive Press reads — 128 members — last activity Apr 18, 2020 05:39AM
Hi everyone, Join our Backlist of the Month discussions! What is Backlist of the month, you ask? It's something we'll tell you all about on Faceboo ...more
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year in books
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1,477 books | 927 friends

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