"That was another world they had been in, surely. As much as any world concocted on the stage. Their flimsy arrangement, their ceremony of kisses, the foolhardy faith enveloping them that everything would sail ahead as planned. Move an inch this way or that, in such a case, and you’re lost."
— Alice Munro, Tricks
"Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it."
— David Foster Wallace
"Is it possible to love so desperately that life is unbearable? I don’t mean unrequited, I mean being in the love. In the midst of it and desperate. Because knowing it will end, because everything does. End."
— Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
"She put her two hands over her ribs to hold her heart in place and also out of modesty to quiet its immodest thud. Then they went to bed in the bedroom and made love until that noisy disturbance ended. She couldn’t hear one interior sound. Therefore they slept."
— Grace Paley, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
"In truth, there are only two realities: the one for people who are in love or love each other, and the one for people who are standing outside all that."
— Charles Baxter, The Feast of Love
"When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part."
— John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
"the unreal is more powerful than the real. because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. stone crumbles. wood rots. people, well, they die. but things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. if you can change the way people think. the way they see themselves. the way they see the world. you can change the way people live their lives. that’s the only lasting thing you can create."
— Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
"Got you. You’re mine now. For the rest of the day, week, month, year, life. Have you guessed who I am? Sometimes I think you have. Sometimes when you’re standing in a crowd I feel those sultry, dark eyes of yours stop on me. Are you too afraid to come up to me and let me know how you feel? I want to moan and writhe with you and I want to go up to you and kiss your mouth and pull you to me and say ‘I love you I love you I love you’ while stripping. I want you so bad it stings."
— Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction
"Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves."
— Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
'Listen carefully. There is a woman who is wealthy and absolutely beautiful—in fact, flawless. She could be devotedly loved by anyone she pleased. But for one perverse accident of her nature—she only likes the unknown.'
'But everybody likes the unknown,' said George, thinking immediately of voyages, unexpected encounters, novel situations.
'No, not in the way she does. She is interested only in a man she has never seen before and will never see again. And for this man she will do anything.'
— Anais Nin, Delta of Venus
"It’s sad to love a woman who won’t love back—it tears at a man—to love a woman who gives herself to others and uses his good intentions and sets his meaning aside. But I have a feeling that this stupid torment is the nearest thing going, for me, to what life is all about. I don’t just sense it dimly. The feeling is overpowering that this is the closest I can get to the truth behind the cloud."
— Denis Johnson, Already Dead
"We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other."
— Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
"Never say love is ‘like’ anything. It isn’t."
— Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh