Quotes by: Will Self

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The high arts of literature and music stand in a curious relationship to one another, at once securely comfortable and deeply uneasy - rather like a long-term marriage.
Will Self
Most of us have had that experience - at around puberty - of realising that, despite whatever efforts we put into our chosen sports, we will become at best competent.
Will Self
There is a deep sadness to American poverty, greater than the sadness of any other kind. It's because America has such an ideology of success.
Will Self
If we bought everything on the Internet, our eyes and mouths and nostrils would probably begin to film over with a tegument - one initially tissue-thin and capable of being removed each morning, but which gradually thickened and hardened until we were imprisoned in our own tiny minds.
Will Self
The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement - if you can't deal with this, you needn't apply.
Will Self
In truth, even if they have an imperfect insight into their own methods, I still slightly mistrust writers of fiction who are assured literary critics; it makes me suspect that they favour the word over the world it should describe. Such scribes fall victim too easily to the solecism of equating style with morality.
Will Self
I'm an anarchist. I'm implacably opposed to heirarchical systems of power and control. I also mistrust crowds, as they often operate according to their lowest common denominator. In terms of evolutionary psychology, the crowd is very close to a herd of stampeding wildebeest.
Will Self
It is fair to say that insofar as sport is taken seriously by those who play it, then to that extent their conduct in play - their ability to deal with loss or victory, their ability to meld strategic thinking and brute force - can be taken as a small-scale model of how they, or others like them, might behave in life.
Will Self
It could be argued that every age gets the comfort savagery writer it deserves.
Will Self
That tertiary education is under a sustained assault by a political and - it often seems - social consensus that equates all education with training for increased productivity, only makes academe a still more promising environment for a contrarian.
Will Self
I've said it before - and I'll say it again: it always seems to me that we come to know our same-sex parents through the bodily and the involuntary; through a kind of fossicking of our own physical strata. As we come to resemble our fathers, so we re-encounter the individual who reared us.
Will Self
From time to time, as if heaven-sent to annoy, someone will ask me if I'm self-disciplined when it comes to my work. I usually look witheringly at them and snarl, 'What do you think?' I mean, how do you imagine anyone writes a quarter of a million words a year for publication?
Will Self
You can always spot a 'television personality', even when they aren't actually on television, because they carry their 'made-up' persona in front of them, like some sort of baffler, or Ready Brek force field. Their reach for notoriety predicated on that fulsome mediocrity of talent detailed above has become frozen in their faces.
Will Self
I write as someone who has no more time for repressive Islam than he does for repressive Christianity or Judaism, but at least look at the face in the hijab - and try to imagine the one beneath the niqab - before you depersonalise its wearer.
Will Self
Instead of looking at individual buildings, it makes more metaphorical sense to think of New York as one enormous chunk of masonry that has been cut up and carved away. It says, 'This is the ultimate polis, through which humans move like nematodes.'
Will Self
One of the most heartening phenomena in today's Britain is the great diversity of the modern nerd - the nerd is out and proud, and while she may love 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' merchandise more than is strictly warranted, she is in every way to be cherished as an exemplar of cosmopolitanism and tolerance.
Will Self
There's a flip side to having prominent public intellectuals, which is that they start meddling in politics and often with quite disastrous results.
Will Self
Nowadays, my mood ungoverned, I'm free to think the most outrageous things, such as: might it not be a good idea to insist that drug companies give their preparations names that tell the user what they really do?
Will Self
What the British seem to like are television historians and naturalists, not public intellectuals. You can't help feeling that's because one supplies narrative and the other supplies facts, and the British are traditionally empiricists so they/we have a resistance to theory and to theoreticians playing too prominent a role in public life.
Will Self
As a bookish adolescent, I sopped up texts as if I were blotting paper and they were fluid.
Will Self
My novels tend to come about from a fusion of two big ideas, creating a critical mass that then fissions, throwing off hundreds of other particles, riffs, tropes and characters.
Will Self
Sometimes, when I hear people without experience of addiction blame addicts for their behaviour, I feel like saying to them: 'You simply don't understand - how can a child be held responsible for doing such a dreadful thing to himself?' But then again, at other times I have to acknowledge: it was done wilfully.
Will Self
The fictional work is a kind of actor that wears a satirical garb but can put on other costumes as well.
Will Self
Just as the blurring between childhood and adulthood has produced the kidult, so the stretching of middle into old age has fostered another peculiar chimera: septuagenarians with apoptosis sporting the depeche mode.
Will Self
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