I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.
Sooner or later, all games become serious.
We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind – mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the preempting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel.
In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom.
Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
The advanced societies of the future will not be governed by reason. They will be driven by irrationality, by competing systems of psychopathology.
Art exists because reality is neither real nor significant.
Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute.
Everything is becoming science fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century.
I admired anyone who could unsettle people.
I think the enemy of creativity in the world today is that so much thinking is done for you.
Our lives today are not conducted in linear terms. They are much more quantified; a stream of random events is taking place.
In the past we have always assumed that the external world around us has represented reality, however confusing or uncertain, and that the inner world of our minds, its dreams, hopes, ambitions, represented the realm of fantasy, and the imagination. These roles, it seems to me, have been reversed. The most prudent and effective method of dealing with the world around us is to assume that it is a complete fiction – conversely, the one small node of reality left to us is inside of our own heads.
Memories have huge staying power, but like dreams, they thrive in the dark, surviving for decades in the deep waters of our minds like shipwrecks on the sea bed.
Surrender to a logic more powerful than reason.
Put a higher value on yourself. Being hyper-realistic about everything is too simple a get-out.
Sooner or later, everything turns into television.
A widespread taste for pornography means that nature is alerting us to some threat of extinction.
If I don’t write, I begin to feel unsettled and uneasy, as I gather people do who are not allowed to dream.
I suspect that many of the great cultural shifts that prepare the way for political change are largely aesthetic.
Along with our passivity, we’re entering a profoundly masochistic phase everyone is a victim these days, of parents, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, even love itself. And how much we enjoy it. Our happiest moments are spent trying to think up new varieties of victimhood.
It was an excess of fantasy that killed the old United States, the whole Mickey Mouse and Marilyn thing, the most brilliant technologies devoted to trivia like instant cameras and space spectaculars that should have stayed in the pages of Science Fiction . . . some of the last Presidents of the U.S.A. seemed to have been recruited straight from Disneyland.
Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.
Electronic aids, particularly domestic computers, will help the inner migration, the opting out of reality. Reality is no longer going to be the stuff out there, but the stuff inside your head. It’s going to be commercial and nasty at the same time.
Films, like memories, seem to re-shoot themselves over the years, reflecting our latest needs and obsessions. In many cases they can change completely, and reveal unexpected depths and shallows. Will Four Weddings and a Funeral be seen one day as a vicious social satire? Could Jaws become as tearful and sentimental as Bambi?