“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn't real. I know that, and I also know that if I'm careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.”
“You want to remember that while you're judging the book, the book is also judging you.”
“Let's talk, you and I. Let's talk about fear.”
“The ladder had always held us before, we thought it would always hold us again, which is a philosophy that gets men and nations in trouble time after time.”
“You're my big brother. I knew you'd take care of me.”
“Having a breakdown was like breaking a vase and then gluing it back together. You could never trust yourself to handle that vase again with any surety. You couldn't put a flower in it because flowers need water and water might dissolve the glue. Am I crazy, then?”
“If you want to write, you write. The only way to learn to write is by writing.”
“Love is the most pernicious drug of all. Let the romantics debate its existence. Pragmatists accept it and use it.”
“Story is something happening to someone you have been led to care about.”
“I felt comfortable as only one can on such a night, when all is miserable outside and all is warmth and comfort inside.”
“As we become aware of our own unavoidable termination, we become aware of the fear-emotion. And I think that, as copulation tends towards self-preservation, all fear tends towards a comprehension of the final ending.”
“Insofar as story is concerned, and pleasure is concerned, there are not enough Stephen Kings to go around.”
“The stench in the air grew steadily stronger, and the dark about us seemed to press like wool, as if jealous of the light which had temporarily deposed it after so many years of undisputed dominion.”
“She was thinking about how quietly you could grow to depend on a person, almost like a junkie with a habit.”
“You may have an occasion to be traveling in southern Maine yourself one of these days. Pretty part of the countryside. You may even stop by Tookey's Bar for a drink. Nice place. They kept the name just the same. So have your drink, and then my advice to you is to keep right on moving north. Whatever you do, don't go up that road to Jerusalem's Lot. Especially not after dark. There's a little girl somewhere out there. And I think she's still waiting for her good-night kiss.”
“My obsession is with the macabre. I didn't write any of the stories which follow for money, although some of them were sold to magazines before they appeared here and I never once returned a cheque uncashed. I may be obsessional but I'm not crazy. Yet I repeat: I didn't write them for money; I wrote them because it occurred to me to write them. I have a marketable obsession. There are madmen and madwomen in padded cells the world over who are not so lucky.”
“Ich sage nicht, daß es stimmt. Ich sage nur, daß es in einigen Ecken der Welt Dinge gibt, die einen Mann in den Wahnsinn treiben können, wenn er sie vor sich sieht.”
“John Renshaw war ein Bussard in Menschengestalt, den sowohl seine Veranlagung als auch sein soziales Umfeld zu zwei Dingen mehr als zu allem anderen befähigt hatten: zu töten und zu überleben”
“Mit Holzkohle Bilder zeichnen. Dies ist der Mondgott. Dies ist ein Baum. Dies ist ein Mac-Lastwagen, der einen Jäger erlegt.”
“The arts are obsessional, and obsession is dangerous. It's like a knife in the mind. In some cases—Dylan Thomas comes to mind, and Ross Lockridge and Hart Crane and Sylvia Plath—the knife can turn savagely upon the person wielding it. Art is a localized illness, usually benign—creative people tend to live a long time—sometimes terribly malignant. You use the knife carefully, because you know it doesn't care who it cuts. And if you are wise you sift the sludge carefully . . . because some of that stuff may not be dead.”
“Bei der Therapie hatte einmal ein Mann gesagt, daß ein Nervenzusammenbruch so ähnlich sei, als wenn man eine Vase zerbricht und sie dann wieder zusammenklebt. Sie sei dann nicht mehr so wie früher, denn man müsse jetzt viel vorsichtiger mit ihr umgehen. Man könnte keine Blume mehr hineinstellen, denn Blumen brauchen Wasser, und Wasser könnte den Leim auflösen.”
“She wasn't like a jukebox; you never had to put in a dime and she never came unplugged.”
“It tried to fold everything,” he said to Jackson, tasting bile in his throat. “But a person isn't a sheet, Mark. What I saw . . . what was left of her . . .” Like Stanner, the hapless foreman, he could not finish. “They took her out in a basket,” he said softly.”
“Man kam nämlich sehr schnell auf merkwürdige Gedanken, wenn man zu lange in dieselben Gesichter sah.”
“Why do you choose to write about such gruesome subjects?
I usually answer this with another question: Why do you assume that I have a choice?
Writing is a catch-as-catch-can sort of occupation. All of us seem to come equipped with filters on the floors of our minds, and all the filters have differing sizes and meshes. What catches in my filter may run right through yours. What catches in yours may pass through mine, no sweat. All of us seem to have a built-in obligation to sift through the sludge that gets caught in our respective mind-filters, and what we find there usually develops into some sort of sideline.
The accountant may also be a photographer. The astronomer may collect coins. The school-teacher may do gravestone rubbings in charcoal. The sludge caught in the mind's filter, the stuff that refuses to go through, frequently becomes each person's private obsession. In civilized society we have an unspoken agreement to call our obsessions “hobbies.”
Sometimes the hobby can become a full-time job. The accountant may discover that he can make enough money to support his family taking pictures; the schoolteacher may become enough of an expert on grave rubbings to go on the lecture circuit. And there are some professions which begin as hobbies and remain hobbies even after the practitioner is able to earn his living by pursuing his hobby; but because “hobby” is such a bumpy, common-sounding little word, we also have an unspoken agreement that we will call our professional hobbies “the arts.”
Painting. Sculpture. Composing. Singing. Acting. The playing of a musical instrument. Writing. Enough books have been written on these seven subjects alone to sink a fleet of luxury liners. And the only thing we seem to be able to agree upon about them is this: that those who practice these arts honestly would continue to practice them even if they were not paid for their efforts; even if their efforts were criticized or even reviled; even on pain of imprisonment or death.
To me, that seems to be a pretty fair definition of obsessional behavior. It applies to the plain hobbies as well as the fancy ones we call “the arts”; gun collectors sport bumper stickers reading YOU WILL TAKE MY GUN ONLY WHEN YOU PRY MY COLD DEAD FINGERS FROM IT, and in the suburbs of Boston, housewives who discovered political activism during the busing furor often sported similar stickers reading YOU'LL TAKE ME TO PRISON BEFORE YOU TAKE MY CHILDREN OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD on the back bumpers of their station wagons. Similarly, if coin collecting were outlawed tomorrow, the astronomer very likely wouldn't turn in his steel pennies and buffalo nickels; he'd wrap them carefully in plastic, sink them to the bottom of his toilet tank, and gloat over them after midnight.”
“almost Overnight, his Eyes are great bloodshot Circles from which the pleasing light of Sanity seems to have departed. He”
“Teil einer Ehe, die in Blut vollzogen worden war.”
“Sie dachte daran, wie unmerklich man von einem Menschen abhängig werden konnte, wie ein Süchtiger von einer Droge.”
“Irgend jemand schien den Entschluß gefaßt zu haben, Gottes Worte mit der Schere zu berichtigen”
“Da uns die Leiter bisher jedesmal gehalten hatte, glaubten wir, sie müßte uns immer halten, eine Philosophie, die Menschen und Nationen immer wieder in Schwierigkeiten bringt.”
“Sex is . . . well, it’s so rude, isn’t it? You wouldn’t think girls would like sex. You’d think it’s too rude for them. Doing sex with a girl, it’s a bit like putting a frog down their backs or scaring them with dead mice or throwing worms at them. They’re such sensible, grown-up sorts of people. And yet apparently even the nice ones like you sticking the rudest thing you have on your whole body up the exact, rudest part of their body that they have. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me!”
“Nothing to it. You treat folk the way you’d want to be treated, and you can’t go far wrong.”
“You couldn't make up something that looked so right.”
“She was so thin I could probably deck her on the side of the head with a pack of Marlboro Lights and she'd hemmorrhage internally.”
“ ما إن يولد طفل في هذا العالم حتى يكتب أحد الملائكة قَدَرهُ على جبينه ”
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