Quotes from Filth

Irvine Welsh ·  393 pages

Rating: (19.1K votes)


“We wait and think and doubt and hate. How does it make you feel? The overwhelming feeling is rage. We hate ourself for being unable to be other than what we are. Unable to be better. We feel rage. The feelings must be followed. It doesn't matter whether you're an ideologue or a sensualist, you follow the stimuli thinking that they're your signposts to the promised land. But they are nothing of the kind. What they are is rocks to navigate the past, each on your brush against, ripping you a little more open and they are always more on the horizon. But you can't face up to the that, so you force yourself to believe the bullshit of those you instinctively know are liars and you repeat those lies to yourself and to others, hoping that by repeating them often and fervently enough you'll attain the godlike status we accord those who tell the lies most frequently and most passionately. But you never do, and even if you could, you wouldn't value it, you'd realise that nobody believes in heroes any more. We know that they only want to sell us something we don't really want and keep from us what we really do need. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we're getting in touch with our condition at last. It's horrible how we always die alone, but no worse than living alone.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“You can only live in the world you ken. The rest is just wishful thinking or paranoia.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“I love doubt in a woman. It's nearly as sexy as determination.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“Bruce, you’re an ugly and silly old man. You’re very possibly an alcoholic and God knows what else. You’re the type of sad case who preys on vulnerable, weak and stupid women in order to boost his own shattered ego. You’re a mess. You’ve gone wrong somewhere pal.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“All I can think about is that boy’s skull, bashed in, the way his head was caved in and how it wasn’t like a heid at all, just like a broken silly puppet face, about how when you destroy something, when you brutalise it, it always looks warped and disfigured and slightly unreal and unhuman and that’s what makes it easier for you to go on brutalising it, go on fucking it and hurting it and mashing until you’ve destroyed it completely, proving that destruction is natural in the human spirit, that nature has devices to enable us to destroy, to make it easier for us; a way of making righteous people who want to act do things without the fear of consequence, a way of making us less than human, as we break the laws . . .”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth



“How did it make you feel?”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“When I get home I take some sleeping pills and within what seemed like half an hour of unconsciousness it was Monday morning again.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“Can you taste it Bruce? Can you taste the filth, the dirt, the oily blackness of that fossil fuel in our mouth as you choke and gag and spit it out? Do you still hear his voice in your head urging you to eat? Eat, eat eat. Your mother's cries. Do you hear them? You should be Bruce. Because I know that it's never left you alone. Now you can eat what you want to eat. For me, for you, for all the others. Now you can consume to your heart's content or your soul's destruction, whichever comes first. So eat.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“Are you asking me or telling me?”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“Gillman smiles, in the cold manner of an assassin. It's like looking in the mirror.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth



“I reach into my bag and I pull out my claw hammer.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“That’s the beauty aboot being polis: it doesnae really matter whether or not everybody hates you, as long as they’re civil tae your face and can put up a good front. You can only live in the world you ken. The rest is just wishful thinking or paranoia.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“The town is mobbed out with Saturday shoppers looking for Christmas bargains. You can almost breathe in the raw greed which hangs in the air like vapour. As the late afternoon darkness falls, the lights look tacky and sinister.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“Why did I join the force? I repeat, - Oh I'd have to say that it was due to police oppression. I'd witnessed it within my own community and decided that it was something I wanted to be part of, I smile.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“A standing prick hath no conscience. And if that standing prick is attached to Bruce Robertson then it hath less than no conscience. You can't afford a conscience in this life, that has become a luxury for the rich and a social ball and chain for the rest of us. Even if I wanted one, which I certainly do not, I wouldn't have the faintest idea as how to go about getting one.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth



“But here, just at this point: this is limbo. There is the sense that if you stay at this point for too long, stop at this point of oblivion for a certain amount of time, you will just cease to exist. And we cannot move.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“As the late afternoon darkness falls, the lights look tacky and sinister.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“The trouble with people like him is that they think that they can brush off people like me. Like I was nothing. They don't understand the type of world we're living in now, all those menaced souls clamouring for attention and recognition.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“He was a very arrogant young man, so full of himself.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“You pushed me away mister. You rejected me. You tricked me and spoiled things between me and my true love. I've seen you before. Long ago, just lying there as you are now. Black, broken, dying, I was glad then and I'm glad now.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth



“There's no fear or regret but no elation or sense of triumph either. It's just a job that had to be done.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“Hay un punto en este túnel, el punto al que acabamos de llegar, donde dobla y no se ve la luz del final ni tampoco la ves si miras atrás. Un par de pasos hacia el frente y brilla la luz y un par de pasos atrás y un vistazo por encima del hombro y es la misma historia. Pero aquí, justo en este punto: es el limbo. Da la sensación de que si te quedas demasiado tiempo en este punto, si te detienes en este punto del olvido durante cierto tiempo, sencillamente dejarás de existir.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


“Clell, Gillman and I are joined by the wee chinky bird with the toff's English-Yank accent. It keeps fuckin well changing. Probably been tae posh schools all over the world. I hate those privileged cunts. They think that you're fuck all, that they can use you tae clean up their shite, and in fact, most of the time they are spot-on. What they don't know though, is that you're always lurking in the shadows. The opportunity to pounce usually never comes along but you're always lurking, always ready. Just in case.”
― Irvine Welsh, quote from Filth


About the author

Irvine Welsh
Born place: in Leith, Scotland
Born date September 27, 1958
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