True terror is a language and a vision. There is a deep narrative structure to terrorist acts, and they infiltrate and alter consciousness in ways that writers used to aspire to.
When you try to unravel something you've written, you belittle it in a way. It was created as a mystery.
In the face of technology, everything becomes a little atavistic.
For me, writing is a concentrated form of thinking.
I've always seen myself in sentences. I begin to recognize myself, word by word, as I work through a sentence.
The modern meaning of life's end-when does it end? How does it end? How should it end? What is the value of life? How do we measure it?
Men with secrets tend to be drawn to each other, not because they want to share what they know but because they need the company of the like-minded, the fellow afflicted.
There's a connection between the advances that are made in technology and the sense of primitive fear people develop in response to it.
People who are in power make their arrangements in secret, largely as a way of maintaining and furthering that power.
I quit my job just to quit. I didn't quit my job to write fiction. I just didn't want to work anymore.
Never underestimate the power of the State to act out its own massive fantasies.
Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.
I embarked on my life - I didn't do anything. I don't have an explanation.
The writer is the person who stands outside society, independent of affiliation and independent of influence.
Hardship makes the world obscure.
I slept for four years. I didn't study much of anything. I majored in something called communication arts.
America was and is the immigrant's dream.
People who are powerless make an open theater of violence.
May the days be aimless. Do not advance action according to a plan.
There's always a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down.
I've always liked being relatively obscure. I feel that's where I belong, that's where my work belongs.
The language of my books has shaped me as a man.
In a repressive society, a writer can be deeply influential, but in a society that's filled with glut and repetition and endless consumption, the act of terror may be the only meaningful act.
People will always make comparisons.
Every sentence has a truth waiting at the end of it and the writer learns how to know it when he finally gets there.
It's no accident that my first novel was called Americana. This was a private declaration of independence, a statement of my intention to use the whole picture, the whole culture.
One truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and poise, but down deeper it's the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language.
Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous. That's why so many of them are in jail.
There's a moral force in a sentence when it comes out right. It speaks the writer's will to live.
Silence, exile, cunning and so on... it's my nature to keep quiet about most things. Even the ideas in my work.
I saw a photograph of a wedding conducted by Reverend Moon of the Unification Church. I wanted to understand this event, and the only way to understand it was to write about it.
I think more than writers, the major influences on me have been European movies, jazz, and Abstract Expressionism.
I like the construction of sentences and the juxtaposition of words-not just how they sound or what they mean, but even what they look like.
I think a playwright realizes after he finishes working on the script that this is only the beginning. What will happen when it moves into three dimensions?
American writers ought to stand and live in the margins, and be more dangerous.
If I were a writer, how I would enjoy being told the novel is dead. How liberating to work in the margins, outside a central perception. You are the ghoul of literature. Lovely.
I watch movies occasionally, and I watch documentaries. Virtually nothing else.
I felt Joyce was an influence on my fiction, but in a very general way, as a kind of inspiration and a model for the beauty of language.
The future belongs to crowds.
A Catholic is raised with the idea that he will die any minute now and if he doesn't live his life in a certain way, this death is an introduction to an eternity of pain.
I think there is a sense of last things in my work that probably comes from a Catholic childhood.
Rushdie is a hostage.
There's never a dearth of reasons to shoot at the President.
It occured to me that eating is the only form of professionalism most people ever attain.
I've come to think of Europe as a hardcover book, America as the paperback version.