Quoted Notes

All moments in time are the mysterious and powerful companions of fate

Alexis Wright

We've been trained to live a life of moral cowardice while all the time comforting ourselves that we are Nature's
rebels. But in truth we've never got upset and excited about anything; we're like the sheep we shot the Aborigines to
make way for, docile until slaughter.

Richard Flanagan

'It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your
table and listen. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone.
The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it
can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.'

Franz Kafka

In the majority of instances human beings, even the evil-doers among them, are far more
naive and straightforward than we suppose. And that includes ourselves.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It is wrong to have an ideal view of the world. That's where the mischief starts.

V. S. Naipaul


In 1919 Franz Kafka wrote his father a letter which, fortunately, no doubt,
he never posted and of which we only possess certain fragments. He said:
I was a frightened child, but like all children, I was obstinate. Undoubtedly
my mother spoiled me, and yet I cannot believe that I was quite unmanageable
that a kind word, a pat on my hand, a kind look, would not have obtained all
you wanted from me. You can only treat a child in accordance with your true
nature, that is to say with force and violence - You rose to such a high position
on you own, through your own strength, because you had unlimited faith in your
opinions. In your presence I started stammering. When I stood before you I
lost all self-confidence and assumed, instead, an unbounded sense of guilt. It
was with this unbounded sense of guilt in mind that I once wrote of somebody
He feared that the shame would outlive him. Whenever I wrote anything it
was about you. What do I do but pour out the groans and laments which I was
unable to release before you? Everything has been a leavetaking from you,
voluntarily protracted.

Georges Bataille & Kafka, of course

Fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing
directions. You change direction but the sandstorm
chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts.
Over and over you play this out, like some ominous
dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because
this storm isn't something that blew in from far away,
something that has nothing to do with you. This storm
is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in
to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes
and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't
get in, and walk through it, step by step.

Haruki Murakami

I meant to write about the peculiar repulsiveness of those who dabble their fingers self approvingly in the stuff of others' souls.

Virginia Woolf

I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I'd always known. That all courage was a form
of constancy. That it was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily.

Cormac McCarthy


It is not the one thing nor the other that leads to madness, but the space in between them.

Jeanette Winterson

if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation
to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky, too, and the trees or whatever it maybe in themselves; if we
look past Milton's bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact,
that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only
to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare's
sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. As for her coming without that preparation, without
that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry
I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.

Virginia Woolf