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William T. Vollmann Quotes & Sayings

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William T. Vollmann Quotes 1333821

Looking at her, thinking of her transported him, which struck him as vile because now it was hard for him not to despise the icy serenity of their earlier relations. And he knew that he should not love her, for she had been someone else whom he was supposed to love differently. -What is loneliness? Does the lonely space between two rocks vanish when spanned by a spider web? — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 776361

This book was written by a traitor to his class. It is dedicated to bigots everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen of the black shirts, I call upon you to unite, to strike with claws and kitchen pokers, to burn the grub-worms of equality's brood with sulfur and oil, to huddle together whispering about the silverfish in your basements, to make decrees in your great solemn rotten assemblies concerning what is proper, for you have nothing to lose but your last feeble principles. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 561119

'In the nineteenth century, we beat the British more than once,' Afghans often told me. 'In the twentieth century, we beat the Russians. In the twenty-first, if we have to, we'll beat the Americans!' — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 263687

Expressiveness in others enriched Mrs. Singer's confidence in her own interpretations, possibly because a certain fear that she had not accomplished anything in her life left her all the more desirous of discovering easy clues to less consequential questions. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1499686

I've come to recognize that questions of law and justice are at the same time questions of power. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 555243

When it comes to revolutionaries, trust only the sad ones. The enthusiastic ones are the oppressors of tomorrow. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1604263

Well let the gentlemen of the bourgeoisie remember Berlin any way they please. As Comrade Khruschev promised us, we will bury them. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1338470

Women are sewers just like we are, the once pure boys recognize with a start; it's raw sewage that produces fertilization; once you understand that you can be fond of yourself and members of the Opposite Sex, but you can never quite see them again as ice cream bars. I, the author, don't really mind this, for I love all girls and love to hug and kiss them and cheer them up when they cry, and have them perform all the same services for me; and a woman's saliva is certainly a miracle, think of all those enzymes and germs; and if I took and wrote the chemicals down on a sheet of paper, all COOOHs and sighs, it would look pretty, just like a face all pretty, like the dear round moon-face of her who loves you or the creamy-freckled skin and blue eyes and heavenly hair of that Irish beauty back in college, so don't think I'm complaining. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 850179

It's fun for me to try to write concise, compact things. It's a very good exercise for me. And I think it's important to try to do different things - change what I write about, and also the way I write. Otherwise, I'd just be repeating myself, which wouldn't be good for me or fair to my readers. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1143047

[Ernest ]Hemingway always said, "Write about what you know." I think you can do that, and if you want to write about what you don't know, you can. It just takes a lot more work. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1548615

I just don't wanna be an ostrich. That's all. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1992379

I studied Comparative Literature at Cornell. Structuralism was real big then. The idea of reading and writing as being this language game. There's a lot of appeal to that. It's nice to think of it as this playful kind of thing. But I think that another way to look at it is "Look, I just want to be sincere. I want to write something and make you feel something and maybe you will go out and do something." And it seems that the world is in such bad shape now that we don't have time to do nothing but language games. That's how it seems to me. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1574750

The landscape around us is but a shadow of the landscape within us. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 603545

(Can you understand your own dreams, which arise with mushrooms' rank richness in the night-forests within your skull?) — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1180142

As large publishers turn into monopolies, and the MBAs who are running them - maybe editors used to run them before - are steadily tightening the screws, they feel more and more that they get to call the shots. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 273865

I don't believe in a personal god. It's good to give thanks, whether or not there's a god. There's no reason not to live life to the fullest. Morality is all the more important for people who don't expect to get a piece of celestial candy after they die. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 403375

It was about as easy getting the Statue of Liberty to spread cunny, which did take some dynamite persuasion. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 854601

We Communists say, if it has no practically measurable effect, it's not people's art! — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2178866

Perhaps Bug and Tony should have been allies. But any successful structure of domination always gets the weak to reject each other. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1572706

All that's happened is inconsequential; it cannot hurt us anymore; there's only music, which lives within us and beyond us, needing us to express it but capable of surviving forever between expressions. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 386196

Maybe life is a process of trading hopes for memories. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 548052

So then, in a pleading tone, he whispers: Why did you make me? I never wanted to be made ...
For propaganda, of course. It's all in your own book. How can we persuade others to be good, without evil we can point to? — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 533172

So much of the destruction on Earth has been wrought by men. Women are the ones who give life and try to pick up the pieces ... What a great gender they are. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1050566

Thus the protagonist of this Dream of mine is ooze, here and forever call'd Oozymandias the King. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 733320

It is the occupation of politicians to deny this ubiquity, nay, universality of corroded hearts, to discount the barren laboriousness of all paths. Reduce corporate taxes, they say, or redistribute the wealth of the parasitic class to the desperate class, and then all who matter can cross the Jordan together and enter into a new land of happiness whose prior inhabitants will dissolve into sea-colored ghosts of dust. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1702528

My father hates organized religion, probably because he hates the God who killed his little girl back in 1968. I find religions variously bemusing. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1224217

But, as I have said, the bugs had no interest in getting us ... and no great curiosity or enthusiasm about us as such; from the cowardly cockroaches to the blind stolid ants they wanted only to be left alone to eat and breed and eat and breed, just like us. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1534004

I want to fall in love with beautiful women of all races. Rescue somebody every now and then, improve my painting, and improve my sentence structure. If I can make a living doing that stuff, that's great, and I will keep doing it, and they can do whatever they want with my image. I couldn't care less. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 407023

Some friends and I, we went right up there behind the studio and we got on a train, we could tell it was going to go to Roseville. We got off it and got on another train. And we got to Roseville, and it takes hours to get through that yard. It's really big. So we ended up just coming back here. It's like fishing or hunting. You can't always come back with something. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 776323

I first got really interested in Noh in about 1977. There was an independent bookstore in Bloomington, Indiana where I was going to high school. It was a really nice place. There was a New Directions paperback. It was the Pound/Fenollosa book, 'The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan.' — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 471377

But on Thursday only the committed regulars are there, and they do what they do on Thursday, delving into pagan rituals of worship to the amber gods that let you see to the lurching anger that spins you round and round at the center of things beyond lines and angles and the very floorboards become crazy under your feet so that the floor goes YAAAWW up again down again and suddenly tunk! it hits you on the forehead and your nose bleeds and you cling to it so that you don't begin to slip down it and fetch up against the wall where you were dancing before with all the women in your life who have now vanished and left you alone here and the swaying candelabra are like careening galaxies burning into the back of your head; you don't dare to roll over on your back and look straight into all those stars or you will be blinded; and from the cool floor and the smell of your own puke you gain more and more understanding of the universe. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 78964

I've always felt I want to be of service to the world somehow. I haven't yet figured out how to do it, and I may never figure out how to do it. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 79357

Great art projects a sense of inexhaustibility. In literature, particularly in poetry, this may be accomplished through ambiguity: Beneath each and every meaning that I can descry lie others, so that rereading holds out the prospect of new subtleties, inversions, secret codes and ineffabilities — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 83398

But the remarkable thing about the beetles was their sensitivity to all the grammar and directives and slogans and even unstated desires of the ant world, which they learned to manipulate. They first memorized the proper antenna-vibration and foreleg-tap which the ants themselves used to request food. The poor workers, busy going here and there and back again all day and never getting a chance to think, automatically assumed that these fearsome strangers had been authorized by the Central Committee since they knew the password, and so they regurgitated a drop or two of fruit juice on cue, much the same as when one is traveling across Europe or Asia on the train and a person in uniform requests one's passport, one's ticket, takes them away, and comes back, or else does not come back, having sold them; a badge and a superior manner can obtain anything in this world. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 257197

The chronology was for the convenience of the reader who may be unfamiliar with some of the names and events mentioned. My publisher persuaded me to cut it, on account of the wartime paper shortage. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 265703

There was no one as good as he at using the ovens of logic to bake agreeable results. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 295326

The instant people specialize, it's in their interest to dehumanize the people their specialized function operates upon. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 303772

I go through all of my old notebooks, and I put an X on every page when everything has been entered into the computer, and sometimes that takes 15 years. But eventually the notebooks are full of X's, and they're no good to me anymore. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 312376

At least for me, it takes more knowledge to write fiction than nonfiction. At least about someplace that I begin with a lot of ignorance about. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 326072

So far, I've never missed a deadline for a term paper, a review, a manuscript. I perform the mumbo-jumbo of voting with belief in my heart, I've not yet won even a jaywalking ticket, and unlike my father, whom I fault in this respect, I refrain from opting out of jury duty; instead, they mostly kick me out. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 354978

Regardless of its textual component, Noh is ultimately indescribable, like sexual ecstasy; what consoles me for my failure of language is the fact that so is everything else. Moreover, Noh aspires to indescribability. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 429428

Kabuki is the way that I so often write; Noh is how I would write if I were more 'spiritual,' more understated, or perhaps just older. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 466354

It will be fun to give some to prostitutes, — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 480918

There had been laid down in that place, I was told, the remains of about six million persons - our conventional total for the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust. The crime which the Nazis accomplished with Immense effort in half-a-dozen years, nature had done here without effort or recourse, and was doing. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 510606

I decided that there is really some sort of entity that I call Imperial, and I decided to extend it all the way along the California-Mexico border and into Tijuana and then to the Pacific because it all has a similar feeling. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 532308

Death cannot be experienced either by the dead or the living. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 691189

So even that doesn't make you happy? What about your Seventh Symphony? At least it rallied people. Once you told me how alive you felt then; you said you gave it your all
Didn't you learn in school, he demanded in a hateful voice, that Ivan the Terrible, having coaxed his architect into, so to speak, putting the very best of himself into building Polrovsky Cathedral, afterwards put out his eyes? Anyway, things are so much easier in our century. LIFE HAS BECOME MORE JOYFUL! — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 701538

I didn't vote for Bush, and I'm not happy particularly that he's president. But I will say I'm impressed that he didn't start bombing Afghanistan the day after Sept. 11. The more time that passes without him bombing Afghanistan, the more I respect him. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 703892

Across the street an addict was mumbling, his words, like Dan Smooth's, reminiscent of the structure of graphite, which is to say comprised of slender hexagonal plates of atoms which slough off at a touch like the multitudinous crusts of a Turkish pastry. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 704393

In the preface of "The Rifles"
"Another rule we followed was never kill an animal that we were not going to use for food or clothing." Barnabas Piryuaq
"Well, in those high latitudes we found such quantities of seals and walruses that we simply did not know what to do with them.There were thousands and thousands lying there; we walked among them and hit them on the head, and laughed heartily in the abundance which God had created." Jan Welzi 1933. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 720109

The times are new, but the informers are old. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 765055

Not only am I physically and emotionally attracted to women, I also wonder what being a woman would be like. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 798502

Generally speaking, the deader the author, the more worthwhile the work. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 819008

What is a woman to me? The answer must be: A projection. Who is projecting, and for what reason, I cannot necessarily know from the performance itself. Mr. Umewaka and Mr. Mikata do not when playing their feminine roles feel themselves to be women; they strive, as I so often in my wonderment repeat, to be nothing; yet when they enact women I see them as women. Meanwhile the psyche within a male body which mechanically performs itself as such may see itself as female — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 836837

When I was writing the first few books, what I would do is write a bunch of sentences and then go back and expand and explode those sentences, pack as much into them as I could, so they'd kind of be like popcorn kernels popping ... all this stuff in there to make the writing dense, and beautiful for its density. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 840420

The smoke detectors began to ring; for they were battery-powered and thus still functioned, just as a record can still be played after the death of every member of the orchestra. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 882178

If this advertisement be not sufficient, I can only protrude my wormlike tendrils of apology, craving forbearance on the grounds that a writer must write about what he knows, and since I know nothing about any subject it scarcely matters where I dabble. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 911600

Lovers may never meet again, but the ways of enemies oft do intersect: This proves some corollary about gravity. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 994025

Precisely because I'm a man who is attracted to women, there may be some things that I have to say as a spectator of feminine grace that women themselves may not be able to see. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1049261

A treble clef, for example, resembles a Muscovite or Leningrader in a bulky hooded parka. A bass clef bends as simply and painfully as a silhouetted widow in Leningrad drawing water from the whiteness of a frozen canal. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1065698

Frank thought. Each time he became someone else's spy it got easier. The ideological virgin usually finds his first time an excruciating experience, just as an amateur hiker, used to the straight-and-narrow freeway of nine-to-five reliability, looks askance at the boulder-strewn path of mercenary betrayal, winding on up into the clouds and down into terrible moraines. But after the first time, the pain and intimacy and guilt becomes a habit subject to check listed procedures; and to the professional, the politically promiscuous soul, all that matters is the craft itself, the right skitter and stab and swing of the hips, so that in the end you can laugh at the inevitability of your own violent death. Frank was now almost at that stage. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1120809

Lecktrickery? grinned the fool boys, rubbing their rabbits' feet against the spell of these longest syllables in all Tarnation. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1146552

At least I hope - that the fiction I've written so far has flaws but has mostly been successful. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1166219

Are you a censor? Do you tell people not to say "girl"? Shame on you! If nothing offends you, you're a saint or you're psychotic. If a few things offend you, deal with them
fairly. If you're often offended by things, you're probably a self-righteous asshole and it's too bad you weren't censored yourself
by your mother in an abortion clinic. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1190724

There have been times when I'm writing about things that are personally embarrassing. Like any human being, sometimes I can't help but wonder - 'What are the people I know going to think about this?' So I have to remind myself that all is permissible. Art has to be a free space. Language has to be a free space. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1195805

Oh, ants, my sisters, good old honeydew-seekers! From close up you are sticky and shiny and gristly; and your nymphs have parasitic red mites stuck to them. You are too intent upon your chewing and gathering to listen to me, but I tell you that despite my warm feelings I really do not like you, and I cannot feel sorry for you in any way because there are too many of you and you are not cute at all. You eat too much of my forests; you are a rebellious tribe, and I will destroy you; I will poison your nests with sweet-smelling traps. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1206084

You could imagine writing about a prostitute, for instance, but if you haven't spent time with prostitutes then you're going to get all these details wrong. But if you have a lot of sex with prostitutes and you're friends with prostitutes and you interview prostitutes, then maybe after many, many years you might be able to create prostitute characters. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1256535

Do you want to know what happiness is? Happiness is the absence of unpleasant information. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1317667

Once you've finished typing and moving text around and everything else, you have to leave it alone for a while. You do that to see if it stands up, to see if all the loose edges have been trimmed, if it makes sense, if it's consistent, what shape it really has. You can't tell that while you're working on it. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1337569

Americans worry that Afghanistan has become a petri dish in which the germs of Islamic fanaticism are replicating - soon Afghans will be hijacking American planes and bombing embassies everywhere. And their fears are not necessarily unfounded. The Taliban are unemployed war veterans, ready and even eager to return to the battlefield. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1375298

I read and write for most of the day, but I do let myself be interrupted by real life. I enjoy going out with friends and try not to take myself too seriously. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1391877

There will come a time when nobody reads my books and no one remembers who I was. And in the meantime, I'll do it my way. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1457610

When I go train hopping and I look up into the sky, there are always so many more stars than I remember there were. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1465977

Luck, like life itself, is no certain thing, but a loveliness which may alight upon my shoulder but more often seems to be some unknown brilliant quantity in motion. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1474524

Self-deception is a pessimistic definition of optimism. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1572820

As a child he had gone out for Halloween as a mummy, a vampire, a blue-and-green-swolen drowned boy, all kinds of sufferings and mutilations and perversions represented by his costumes; and looking around him he saw witches and Frankenstein monsters and scarred warty masks of all the kids running around asking for candy in the dark; and he wondered: Why must we hurt ourselves and drive stakes through our hearts and drown ourselves in order to get candy? Why couldn't we just go out and ask for it? — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1628602

Plato says that as one learns to love, the image of any specific beloved can be left behind for knowledge of the Good. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1712126

Best listened to in a windowless room, better than best in an airless room - correctly speaking, a bunker sealed forever and enwrapped in tree-roots - the Eighth String Quartet of Shostakovich (Opus 110) is the living corpse of music, perfect in its horror. Call it the simultaneous asphyxiation and bleeding of melody. The soul strips itself of life in a dusty room. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1719587

Bug, meanwhile, had learned at Marshtown that might made right, and he got older and paler, his head downcast like a nodding flower that expects itself to be cut at any moment. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1728603

(sunglasses make the world quieter and safer, as if you are viewing things behind smoked windows fronting your skull-house: you are inside and the world is outside, and the world cannot see into you; mirror sunglasses double the armor), — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1737031

If I'm writing a book, and I'm warned, 'Oh, this is unsaleable, you need to make it shorter,' or, 'It has to be this, or that,' I'm proud to say I don't pay attention. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1803358

But I don't think a river wants anything, except to be itself. Just like anybody and anything. I don't think it claimed a soul. I don't think it's at all vindictive or vicious, just itself. It just seemed very honest. If you hear a river moan, you know it has life. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1881405

Death is ordinary. Behold it, subtract its patterns and lessons from those of the death that weapons bring, and maybe the residue will show what violence is. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1881682

Whereas if I want to create a prostitute character now from memories of different prostitutes and inventing stuff, I can say, "this could happen," "this is quite plausible." But I don't feel I know enough about border life to do the latter. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 1975730

I'm still a marginal figure living from book to book, but, as long as I'm producing labour as a good Marxist prole, I guess I'm satisfied. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2022059

I might enjoy writing some ghost stories set in Japan because their whole idea about the spirit world is so interesting. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2043016

As surely as the town of Rochelle is Protestant I can see you now becoming impatient. The covers of my book are between your relentless palms. A single hint of insolence on this page, the faintest shine of gloating over all these delays, and you will slam the volume shut - don't claim I can't predict it! — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2065773

I do most sincerely believe that ethical behavior as we best construe it ought to be followed by us throughout our lives, even on the last day of life, and that if we have made a bad or even evil choice we are not barred (or excused) thereby from continuing to live the last moments or years given to us in whatever way we consider to be most right. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2070260

My father grew up in an era when to be an American - a white American, at least - was to be yourself. In some respects, his generation was more ignorant, complacent, self-centered and parochial than mine. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2078896

Life is an extended camping trip. With a leaky, inferior tent one runs no more risk of rain than anyone else; but if it does rain, the person in the cheap tent chances soaking in his sleeping bag, and possibly dying of hypothermia. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2084587

The hospital bulked darkly in the darkness. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2095716

Such mental haziness is in order, given the delightful vagueness of the terrain. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2101655

As I get older, I find myself getting angrier and angrier. Doubtless, change itself, not to mention physical decline and inevitable petty tragedies of disappointed expectations, would have made for resentment in any event; but I used to be a passive schoolboy, my negative impulses turned obediently inward. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2126742

Really what it gets down to is that my idea of the American life, the American dream, whatever, is that I can do what I wish in the privacy of my own home. And as long as I'm not hurting anyone, no one has a right to know what I do. The main thing that I have to hide is that I don't have anything to hide. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2189337

I wish I could go back and rewrite my first book, You Bright and Risen Angels; I could do a better job. But in the meantime, nobody knows as much about my books as I do. Nobody has the right but me to say which words go into my books or get deleted or edited. When I'm dying, I'll smile, knowing I stood up for my books. If I die with more money, that wouldn't bring a smile to my face. Unless I got better drugs or more delicious-looking nurses. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2204160

I don't subscribe to organised religion. I've travelled enough to see that adherents of organised religion often attack adherents of other religions. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2205775

Whenever I travel to a poor country, I try to help at least one person. Usually, that person helps me just as much - I can find a local poor person to be my guide or my interpreter. That person makes money from me, I make money from him or her, we both learn about each other. It's an equal win-win relationship. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2258838

We're living in what used to be Mexico, and there's this very fluid border feeling. You go a little bit south of Tijuana, for instance, into Ensenada, and it still seems kind of borderlike. And you go much farther, suddenly the prices are lower, the prostitution is different, the commerce is different, everything feels more "Mexican." — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2267844

I've never shot a civilian except when under orders. — William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann Quotes 2270356

A common measure of poverty is how much money you have in relation to other people - that is useful as far as it goes, but that excludes the case of, say, a hunter in the rainforest who has no money but is not poor. And there can be a number of people with money but who can consider themselves unwanted or invisible or estranged from society. — William T. Vollmann