After putting together my all-time favorite lines from Chuck Palahniuk’s collection of books, I couldn’t help but go back and re-read Fight Club. I’ve always said that Fight Club, for me, is one of those books that I remember exactly where I was when I figured it out. It is like finding out who Tyler Durden was, is a historically significant moment of my life. The way Palahniuk paints the picture of one man split between himself and his alter-ego is amazing in written form. Now I’m not saying that Brad Pitt and Edward Norton didn’t do an amazing job in the movie, but Fight Club is a book that can really open your eyes to the way the world really works. I’m also not starting the “Church of Chuck” or anything like that. What I am doing is sharing my all-time favorite lines from Fight Club (the book, not the movie):
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“I don’t want to die without any scars.”
“This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.”
“You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways.”
“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
“At the time, my life just seemed too complete, and maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves.”
“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.”
“Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think everything you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.”
“If you don’t know what you want,” the doorman said, “you end up with a lot you don’t.”
“I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.”
“I’ve met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, “Why?”
Why did I cause so much pain?
Didn’t I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?
Can’t I see how we’re all manifestations of love?
I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God’s got this all wrong.
We are not special.
We are not crap or trash, either.
We just are.
We just are, and what happens just happens.
And God says, “No, that’s not right.”
Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can’t teach God anything.”
“The lower you fall, the higher you’ll fly.”
“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”
“Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.”
“I see in the fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars, advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives, we’ve been all raised by television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won’t and we’re slowly learning that fact. and we’re very very pissed off.”
“Everyone smiles with that invisible gun to their head.”
“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”
“I wanted to destroy everything beautiful I’d never have.”