- I think they've always gone on. I've gotten some irate letters from oldsters saying "We did this in the 1930s. You didn't invent anything." And I'm like, "Gramps, you should have put a name on it and sold it, because that’s all I did."
- On the creation of Fight Club
- Interview with Rolling Stone (2002-09-19)
- I haven't had a TV in 10 years, and I really don't miss it. 'Cause it's always so much more fun to be with people than it ever was to be with a television.
- Interview with the San Francisco Bay Guardian (2002-10-30)
- It's easy to attack and destroy an act of creation. It's a lot more difficult to perform one.
- Why have I sold out? You think I'm supposed to grow old, beating some trite old protest drum that people don't hear anymore? Please; protest is now just a backdrop for a Diesel clothing ad in a slick fashion magazine. My goal is to create a metaphor that changes our reality by charming people into considering their world in a different way. It's time — for me, at least — to be clever and seduce people by entertaining them. I'll never be heard if I'm always ranting and griping.
- "You Ask The Questions," The Independent Review (2004-03-25)
- How sweet! You still believe in death... that's just so... quaint. Well, sorry to pop your death bubble, but there's no such thing. So make the best of things. Any real belief in death is just wishful thinking. Don't waste good drugs on killing yourself. Share them with friends and have a party. Or send them to me.
- "You Ask The Questions," The Independent Review (2004-03-25)
- The first step — especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money — the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.
- Closing remarks made on an eClass forum (Barnes & Noble University) (2004-12-05)
- I love being with people. But I need a script, a role, something that will help me overcome my fears of rejection and shame. Most religions and belief systems provide a blueprint for some sort of community. And the religion’s leaders model a way of being. For example, in my book Choke, a character enacts his own death and resurrection every night – as does the narrator in Fight Club. Here’s Jesus, allowing himself to look terrible in front of his peers. That’s the biggest purpose of religious gathering: permission to look terrible in public.
- All I do is track a profane route to something (I hope) profound. Like swimming a river of shit for a kiss.
- On what sets him apart from others in his genre.
- Online chat transcript, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (2007-05-01)
- Going to spring break at Ft. Lauderdale, getting drunk and flashing your breasts isn't an act of personal empowerment. It's you, so fashioned and programmed by the construct of a patriarchal society that you no longer know what's best for yourself. A damsel too dumb to know she is even in distress.
- If you haven’t already noticed, all my books are about a lonely person looking for some way to connect with other people.
In a way, that is the opposite of the American Dream: to get so rich you can rise above the rabble, all those people on the freeway or, worse, the bus.
- The journalist researches a story. The novelist imagines it.
What’s funny is, you’d be amazed at the amount of time a novelist has to spend with people in order to create this single lonely voice. This seemingly isolated world.
It’s hard to call any of my novels “fiction.”
- All my friends with PalmPilots and cell phones, they’re always calling themselves and leaving reminders to themselves about what’s about to happen. We leave Post-it notes for ourselves. We go to that shop in the mall, the one where they engrave whatever shit you want on a silver-plated box or a fountain pen, and we get a reminder for every special event that life goes by too fast for us to remember. We buy those picture frames where you record a message on a sound chip. We videotape everything! Oh, and now there’s those digital cameras, so we can all email around our photos — this century’s equivalent of the boring vacation slide show. We organize and reorganize. We record and archive.
- Everything is funnier in retrospect, funnier and prettier and cooler. You can laugh at anything from far enough away.
- What makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven.
- If you can watch much television, then being dead will be a cinch. Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead.
- The first time we meet another person an insidious little voice in our head says, 'I might wear eyeglasses or be chunky around the hips or a girl, but at least I'm not Gay or Black or a Jew.' Meaning: I may be me - but at least I have the good sense not to be YOU.
- It simply makes sense that I should miss my parents more than they miss me, especially when you consider that they only loved me for thirteen years while I loved them my entire life.
- In Hell you'd be foolish to count on people displaying high standards of honesty. The same goes for earth.
- Yes, and I know that when a supersexy older girl with hips and breasts and nice hair wants to take off your glasses and to paint you a smokey eye she's merely trying to enroll you in a beauty contest she's already won. It's the kind of slummy, condescending gesture, like when rich people ask poor people where they summer. To me, this smacks of a blatant, insensitive 'let them eat cake' type of chauvinism.
- If the living are haunted by the dead. Then the dead are haunted by their own mistakes."
- I do hereby and forever abandon abandoning all hope. Honestly, I give up on giving up. I'm just not cut out to be some hopeless, disillusioned wretch with no aspirations for the rest of the eternity, sprawled catatonic in my own feces on a cold stone floor. In all probability the Human Genome Project will, someday, find that I carry some recessive gene for optimism, because despite all my best efforts I still can't scrape together even a couple of days of hopelessness. Future scientists would call it Pollyanna Syndrome, and if forced to guess, I'd say that mine has been a way-long case of history chasing rainbows.