Or about how when you're a child, to stop you from following the crowd you're assaulted with the line "If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?" but when you're an adult and to be different is suddenly a crime, people seem to be saying, "Hey. Everyone else is jumping off a bridge. Why aren't you?— Steve Toltz
The most glamorous Steve Toltz quotes that will transform you to a better person
Sometimes not talking is effortless, and other times it’s more exhausting than lifting pianos.
When we finished the kiss she said laughing, I can taste your loneliness - it tastes like vinegar. That annoyed me. Everyone knows loneliness tastes like cold potato soup.
When you put so much effort to forget someone, the effort itself becomes a memory. Then you have to forget the forgetting, and that too is memorable.
Amen' is like the Send button on an email.
I think that's the real loss of innocence: the first time you glimpse the boundaries that will limit your potential.
I was so happy I wanted to fold all the people into paper airplanes and fly them into the lidless eye of that big yellow moon.
There's nothing perplexing to me about a leafy shrub evolving out of the big bang, but that the post office exists because carbon exploded out of a supernova is a phenomenon so outrageous it makes my head twitch.
Optimism isnt funny unless you are laughing at the person, whereas extreme pessimism is extremely funny. Its exaggeration.
Sometimes I think the human animal doesn't really need food or water to survive, only gossip.
You experience life alone, you can be as intimate with another as much as you like, but there has to be always a part of you and your existence that is incommunicable; you die alone, the experience is yours alone, you might have a dozen spectators who love you, but your isolation, from birth to death, is never fully penetrated.
After all, memory may be the only thing on earth we can truly manipulate to serve us, so we don't have to look back at ourselves in the receding past and think, What an arsehole!
Let’s not mince words: the inside of the Sydney casino looks as if Vegas had an illegitimate child with Liberace’s underpants, and that child fell down a staircase and hit its head on the edge of a spade.
As an artist you can use your own discomfort and neuroses and difficulties and at least transform them into something else. Without that you're just neurotic and uncomfortable.
On the one hand I'm writing about somebody about whom I say in the book, "The only thing worse than being a statistic is being a statistical anomaly." So I'm writing about a particularly unlucky person. So that's a special type of hell, to be particularly unlucky.
We have this atomic idea of process where we want to believe that the creator of the book or the show had this whole brainy idea at the outset. As though there is something less about it if it comes out of the process of discovery.
To have a child is to be impaled daily on the spike of responsibility.
That's how we slide, and while we slide we blame the world's problems on colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, corporatism, stupid white men, and America, but there's no need to make a brand name of blame. Individual self-interest: that's the source of our descent, and it doesn't start in the boardrooms or the war rooms either. It starts in the home.
...I thought how I hate any kind of mob - I hate mobs of sports fans, mobs of environmental demonstrators, I even hate mobs of super-models, that's how much I hate mobs. I tell you, mankind is bearable only when you get him on his own.
There's this quote by a writer, Emil Cioran, he's a Romanian writer.
He says that you should only put things in books that you would never dare to say to people in real life. So there is that feeling of acute embarrassment, or that you've been too revealing. I think it's some kind of survival mechanism where I never think of the reader, ever. Because then I would start censoring myself.
The moment seemed endless, but it was probably only half that.
I don't have a great respect for reality or getting the 'facts' as a means of putting together a story.
Negotiating with memories isn't easy: how to choose between those panting to be told, those still ripening, those already shriveling, and those destined to be mangled by language and come out pulverized?
I try to outline. I'm a lazy outliner. I will put the points down of each chapter or series of chapters, but it always changes. For me it's a place of evolution. I don't really know who the characters are. I don't really know what the story is. I outline and that really just gets me moving. It's like I'm drawing up fake maps, but they turn out to be correct.
There are a lot of artists that return to the same subject.
Whether it's the natural subject, or the focus or the subconscious focus of their entire lives, it often is repeated.
Fear of death is understandable, being that we are all going to die, but fear of life and suffering is more of an irrational fear because it's something that can be avoided. The torturous part is that suffering can be avoided if you have good luck. That's somewhat out of our hands, but is it? I don't know. "Is bad luck self-harm by another name?"
Don't be afraid to have nothing.
Once a year I try writing a poem, usually because I've read some poetry that amazed me and I want to do that.
… she gave me a look that deftly combined tenderness with revulsion.
To this day the memory of that look still visits me like a Jehovah’s Witness: uninvited and tireless.
I dont really have an office or anything, and I like to have to move location every two hours. So I just kind of write in a park, on a bench, in the library, in a cafe, back to the library, that kind of thing.
Raymond Chandler I love a lot, and the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. I really love his voice.
There is something so arbitrary about prizes.
I feel that there are two kinds of writers.
I feel that there are writers who are storytellers and then there are those just working out their obsessions. I think I'm a combination. I think, at least for these books, I'm going with fear. I've always been interested in fear. Fear is something I've dealt with in life, and I think it's the main motivating factor of everything, almost. From sex to politics.
It's the idea of baggage. When you hear about people in their 40s boast about not having baggage. I think having no baggage is your baggage. That means that you haven't thrown yourself into the mess of life.
I never thought that it would take me so long to do something.
I thought everything was temporary and sometimes the best thing you have working in your favor is a bad sense of time. In order to sit down and write a book that takes six years you have to have a screwed up sense of time because that's too daunting. No one is going to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and say, "Okay, six years, here we go."
There are authors like David Foster Wallace or Raymond Chandler - with voice-based authors I might end up a completist, because what I love about them isn't just the particular construction of one novel or another but their flavor. There is an Austrian writer, Thomas Bernhard, as well. One book is not necessarily greater than another book, but they just have this incredible, unique voice, so it doesn't really matter which one you read.
I have that sort of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David/George Costanza thing where people are like, "How did you feel writing such an unlikable character?" And I'm like, "It's me! I based him on myself!" There are certain moments where they do feel like unwittingly personal attacks.
I enjoy being influenced by other writers.
He pointed the gun at me. Then he looked up at my hand & tilted his head slightly. - Journey, he said. I had forgotten I was still holding the book. - Céline, I said back in a whisper. - I love that book. - I'm only halfway through. - Have you got to the point where -- - Hey, kill me, but don't tell me the end!
[I'll teach you] how not to leave the windows of your heart open when it looks like rain and how everyone has a stump where something necessary was amputated.
We're always sick and we just don't know it.
What we mean by health is only when our constant physical deterioration is undetectable.
There are men put on this earth to make laws designed to break the spirits of men. There are those put here to have their spirits broken by those put here to break them. Then there are those who are here to break the laws that break the men who break the spirits of other men. I am one of those men. - Harry West
My writing goal is just this desperation to get as much done as possible.
It's never a comfortable, relaxed thing. Especially because I know so much of the story that I want to tell and I feel so far away from the end. Actually feels a hundred years away, and every hour I'm not working is another hour away from finishing.
There’s nothing wonderful or interesting about unrequited love.
I think it’s shitty, just plain shitty. To love someone who doesn’t return your affections might be exciting in books, but in life it’s unbearably boring. I’ll tell you what’s exciting: sweaty, passionate nights. But sitting on the veranda outside the home of a sleeping woman who isn’t dreaming about you is slow moving and just plain sad.
What a nasty act of cruelty, giving a dying man his last wish.
Don't you realize he doesn't want it? His real wish is not to die.
Regrets came up and asked me if I’d like to own them.
Declined them for the most part but took a few just so I wouldn’t leave this relationship empty handed.
People carry their secrets in hidden places, not on their faces.
They carry suffering on their faces. Also bitterness if there’s room.
Sometimes they [people] throw off their freedom so quickly, you'd think it was burning them.
We were on our way to the twentieth floor, sharing the elevator with two suits that had men inside them.
I groaned. Man and his codes! Even in a lawless inferno, man has to give himself some honor, he's so desperate to separate himself from the beasts.