A new world is not made simply by trying to forget the old. A new world is made with a new spirit, with new values. Our world may have begun that way, but today it is caricature. Our world is a world of things. What we dread most, in the face of the impending debacle, is that we shall be obliged to give up our gewgaws, our gadgets, all the little comforts that have made us so uncomfortable. We are not peaceful souls; we are smug, timid, queasy and quaky.
There is nothing strange about fear: no matter in what guise it presents itself it is something with which we are all so familiar that when a man appears who is without it we are at once enslaved by him.
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music-the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
Topics: How to Live, Passion, Love
Fame is an illusive thing—here today, gone tomorrow. The fickle, shallow mob raises its heroes to the pinnacle of approval today and hurls them into oblivion tomorrow at the slightest whim; cheers today, hisses tomorrow; utter forgetfulness in a few months.
Every man with a bellyful of the classics is an enemy to the human race.
I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive. A year ago, six months ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am. Everything that was literature has fallen from me. There are no more books to be written, thank God. This then? This is not a book. This is libel, slander, and defamation of character. This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants of God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty
Topics: Happiness, Authors & Writing
True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself.
To walk in money through the night crowd, protected by money, lulled by money, dulled by money, the crowd itself a money, the breath money, no least single object anywhere that is not money. Money, money everywhere and still not enough! And then no money, or a little money, or less money, or more money but money always money . and if you have money , or you don’t have money, it is the money that counts, and money makes money, but what makes money make money?
The dreamer whose dreams are non-utilitarian has no place in this world. In this world the poet is anathema, the thinker a fool, the artist an escapist, the man of vision a criminal.
In the beginning was the Word. Man acts it out. He is the act, not the actor.
No matter how vast, how total, the failure of man here on earth, the work of man will be resumed elsewhere. War leaders talk of resuming operations on this front and that, but man’s front embraces the whole universe.
Topics: War, Space
Don’t look for miracles. You yourself are the miracle.
Civilization is drugs, alcohol, engines of war, prostitution, machines and machine slaves, low wages, bad food, bad taste, prisons, reformatories, lunatic asylums, divorce, perversion, brutal sports, suicides, infanticide, cinema, quackery, demagogy, strikes, lockouts, revolutions, putsches, colonization, electric chairs, guillotines, sabotage, floods, famine, disease, gangsters, money barons, horse racing, fashion shows, poodle dogs, chow dogs, Siamese cats, condoms, peccaries, syphilis, gonorrhea, insanity, neuroses, etc., etc.
Topographically the country is magnificent—and terrifying. Why terrifying? Because nowhere else in the world is the divorce between man and nature so complete. Nowhere have I encountered such a dull, monotonous fabric of life as here in America. Here boredom reaches its peak.
And what is the potential man, after all? Is he not the sum of all that is human? Divine, in other words?
A man writes to throw off the poison which he has accumulated because of his false way of life. He is trying to recapture his innocence, yet all he succeeds in doing (by writing) is to inoculate the world with a virus of his disillusionment. No man would set a word down on paper if he had the courage to live out what he believed in.
Topics: Writing, Authors & Writing, Writers
We create our fate every day we live.
No one asks you to throw Mozart out of the window. Keep Mozart. Cherish him. Keep Moses too, and Buddha and Lao Tzu and Christ. Keep them in your heart. But make room for the others, the coming ones, the ones who are already scratching on the window-panes.
The life of a creator is not the only life nor perhaps the most interesting which a man leads. There is a time for play and a time for work, a time for creation and a time for lying fallow. And there is a time, glorious too in its own way, when one scarcely exists, when one is a complete void. I mean—when boredom seems the very stuff of life.
It is the American vice, the democratic disease which expresses its tyranny by reducing everything unique to the level of the herd.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Kurt Vonnegut American Novelist
- Gore Vidal American Novelist
- Elizabeth Gilbert American Novelist
- William S. Burroughs American Novelist
- Anita Loos American Actor
- David Foster Wallace American Novelist, Essayist
- Robert Anton Wilson American Polymath
- Norman Mailer American Novelist, Journalist
- Langston Hughes American Poet, Writer
- Nelson Algren American Novelist