Favorite Quotes

Just quotes we vibe with.

And now a public service announcement. Alligators: can they kill your children? Yes.

(Welcome to Night Vale, "Pilot")

One important distinction that must be drawn is between the words dissection and vivisection, a distinction that would appear to be lost on you. Your purpose was to listen, and yet at every turn you have pried, you have prodded, and you have interfered. I think I’ve been paying attention. Did it not occur to you that as an organism existing within a greater organism, your intrusion would be felt? And still you harassed. And now, like the wayward spider who witlessly stumbles across the sleeper’s tongue, you will be swallowed. Because the truth is this: when a house is both hungry and awake, every room becomes a mouth.

(Kitty Horrorshow, Anatomy)

You open to a random page:

"The Priestess sank into the mud, which whispered to her as it filled her ears, and she felt His oils and secrets slide across the wrinkled flesh of her brain, and she shivered, and the knife burrowed under her ribs..."

You open to a random page:

"You will know that you have come to the kingdom of the Hierophant, for the roaches will have the teeth of men, and the wasps will not have stingers but tongues, and the worms will twist themselves into knots until they are torn and bleeding..."

You open to a random page:

"The man walked, driven like cattle by the Tower's groans, and with each step a new worm penetrated the sole of his foot, until he was naught but a suit of skin for their family, teeming and boiling at the holes of his eyes..."

You open to a random page:

"The boy came to a clearing, where a great bloated tick wallowed in a shallow pond, and he found that he could not speak, for She had filled his mouth with leeches as he was running through the swamp..."

You open to a random page:

"Her mother, whose head was full of the Tattered King's perverted songs, shut the girl in the attic, where blood dripped from between the teeth of the mad-eyed rocking horse and the spiders laughed like murderers..."

(Kitty Horrorshow, Grandmother)

Resignation to one's fate takes practice. Like any art. Or so citizen Shushashin maintains. He begins every day--after putting on his shoes and washing his face, before throwing on his jacket--with an exercise. Again, the expression is his. This exercise works like this: he walks over to the wall, puts his back up against it and stands there in an attitude of utter resignation. For a minute or two. And that's all. The exercise is over. He can begin to live.

(Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, "Red Snow", 1930)

We report only the real, the semi-real, and the verifiably unreal. Welcome to Night Vale.

(Welcome to Night Vale, "Eternal Scouts")

But if someone wanted to write a biography of the most consistent that-into-thiser, he would have to begin by visiting Semyonovskoye Cemetery; near the main path one may find a grave whose hunched black headstone is inscribed with these words:

Take wholesome food

And exercise in the fresh air.

In times of repose, that is at night,

Sleep with the window wide.

Stop physicking yourself.

Fall into Nature's arms


Be well.

I respect everything that is whole: Standing by the hunched black headstone, I took off my hat.

(Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, "Postmark: Moscow", 1925)

Human love is a frightened thing with half-shut eyes: It dives into the dusk, skitters about in dark corners, speaks in whispers, hides behind curtains, and puts out the light.

(Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, "In the Pupil", 1927)

Anything might stand beside us, watch us, keep us company until dawn, and we would never perceive it. We can only pray that the house will not let such things carry on as we sleep.

(Kitty Horrorshow, Anatomy)

We are going to tell you what lies underground, why you should not disturb this place, and what may happen if you do.

(English-language inscription outside the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, New Mexico)

One can hide lightning (its discharge) in a dynamo and force it, torn up and measured on meters, to flicker dimly inside the bell jars of thousands upon thousands of economic lightbulbs. But then, when the revolution was still new, we were all, willingly or unwillingly, inflamed or burnt by its jagged, all-consuming course. In an instant, all thresholds had been removed--not only from rooms, cells, and studies but also from consciousnesses. Words one had thought forever crushed by the censors' pencils, shrunk and shunted into breviers and nonpariels, suddenly revived, and began waving and calling from red flags and banners. Having suddenly overcome my own threshold, I too crept out to meet the banners and crowds.

(Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, "Autobiography of a Corpse", 1925)

Quantin crept closer to the knoll. A pungent smell passed through his nostrils up into his brain. Attracted by the poppies' scarlet smears, he was about to take another step when he felt a hand on his elbow. A man in a poppy-red jacket, his pupils dilated, smiled warningly.

"No strangers allowed. Go away."

"I don't understand..."

"Understanding is strictly forbidden. Even dreams have the right to dream. Isn't that so? Now go away."

(Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, "The Branch Line", 1927-1928)

The Socialists will never take over the state, no chance--because the state has taken over the Socialists. You can live to be a cow's age, and still be learning, but there's never been a cow yet to match the German proletariat. They keep taking their ballots in their hands, and going to the polling booths and voting, and they think, that's it, all done. They say: we want to hear our voice in the Reichstag. I tell you, they'd be better advised to start a male voice choir.

(Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz, 1929)

But here is the truth of nostalgia. We don’t feel it for who we were, but who we weren’t. We feel it for all the possibilities that were open to us, but that we didn’t take. Time is like wax, dripping from a candle flame. In the moment, it is molten and falling, with the capability to transform into any shape. Then the moment passes, and the wax hits the table top and solidifies into the shape it will always be. It becomes the past – a solid single record of what happened, still holding in its wild curves and contours the potential of every shape it could have held. It is impossible – no matter how blessed you are by luck, or the government, or some remote, invisible deity gently steering your life with hands made of moonlight and wind – it is impossible not to feel a little sad, looking at that bit of wax, that bit of the past. It is impossible not to think of all the wild forms that wax now will never take. The village, glimpsed from a train window – beautiful and impossible and impossibly beautiful on a mountaintop, then you wondered what it would be if you stepped off the moving train and walked up the trail to its quiet streets and lived there for the rest of your life... all variety of lost opportunity spied from the windows of public transportation, really. It can be overwhelming, this splattered, inert wax recording every turn not taken. “What’s the point?” you ask. “Why bother?” you say... but then you remember – I remember – that we are, even now, in another bit of molten wax. We are in a moment that is still falling, still volatile – and we will never be anywhere else. We will always be in that most dangerous, most exciting, most possible time of all: the now. Where we never can know what shape the next moment will take. Stay tuned next for…well, let’s just find out together, shall we?

(Welcome to Night Vale, "Travels Through Europe")