Then you look at her and smile a smile your dissembling face will remember until the day you die. Baby, you say, baby, this is part of my novel. This is how you lose her.
As life in general constituted much pain in the form of struggles against poverty, disease, ignorance, and emotional anguish, what more civilized way for people to alleviate the same than by giving themselves to one another as brothers and sisters in deed as well as in word? A society of people hoping to become politically superior needed first to become spiritually valid.
You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.
Every article and review and book that I have ever published has constituted an appeal to the person or persons to whom I should have talked before I dared to write it. I never launch any little essay without the hope—and the fear, because the encounter may also be embarrassing—that I shall draw a letter that begins, 'Dear Mr. Hitchens, it seems that you are unaware that…' It is in this sense that authorship is collaborative with 'the reader.' And there's no help for it: you only find out what you ought to have known by pretending to know at least some of it already. It doesn't matter how obscure or arcane or esoteric your place of publication may be: some sweet law ensures that the person who should be scrutinizing your work eventually does do so.
A friend once told me that the real message Bram Stoker sought to convey in 'Dracula' is that a human being needs to live hundreds and hundreds of years to get all his reading done; that Count Dracula, basically nothing more than a misunderstood bookworm, was draining blood from the necks of 10,000 hapless virgins not because he was the apotheosis of pure evil but because it was the only way he could live long enough to polish off his extensive reading list. But I have no way of knowing if this is true, as I have not yet found time to read 'Dracula.
Some women do not masturbate for pleasure; they masturbate to make a political statement: to remind us that women do not really need men (or at least not as much and as frequently as every single male chauvinist and every single misogynist believes).
It was masturbation, not willpower, that made it possible for gazillions of women to walk down the aisle with their reputation and their hymen still intact.
Some women have been faking orgasms for so long that they sometimes fake one when they are masturbating.
Reading remains one of the purest things I do.
It is usually unbearably painful to read a book by an author who knows way less than you do, unless the book is a novel.
You are more likely to find three TVs inside a randomly selected house than you are to find a single book that is or was not read to pass an exam, to please God, or to be a better cook.
Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions.
My high-school papers, my college-application essays, read like Norman Mailer packed in a crunchy-peanut-butter sandwich.
Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger.