We are all acquaintances now.

I think young writers should get other degrees first, social sciences, arts degrees or even business degrees. What you learn is research skills, a necessity because a lot of writing is about trying to find information.

Now, for the first time, he's seeing that there really is a way out of this, and it's all so simple. You don't have to run away. You just meet somebody special and step sideways into a parallel universe.

It's part of me, Scotland. I'm still immersed in it even though I am not there.

Ah made yous cunts in ma ain image. Yous git oan wi it; yous fuckin well sort it oot. That cunt Nietzsche wis wide ay the mark when he sais ah wis deid. Ah'm no deid; ah jist dinnae gie a fuck. It's no fir me tae sort every cunt's problems oot. Nae other cunt gies a fuck so how should ah? Eh?

Life is a dynamic rather than a static process, and when we don't change it kills us. It's not running away, it's moving on.

Ah didnae really know much aboot women. Ah didnae really know much aboot anything.

Jim has a nice life, he considers, but sometimes Frank has a hell of a lot more fun.

Gillman smiles, in the cold manner of an assassin. It's like looking in the mirror.

The trouble with people like him is that they think that they can brush off people like me. Like I was nothing. They don't understand the type of world we're living in now, all those menaced souls clamouring for attention and recognition.

I've been doing a bit of screenwriting and producing, and even a bit of directing.

For 'Filth,' we had about 12 producers on the thing. The opening credits go on for months. Most of them are actually financers rather than producers. And the only way that we could raise the budget without interference from a studio was to have a lot of different financers on board.

I pay more tax registered in Holland than I would in the USA, but better gieing to the Dutch to build dams than the Yanks to build bombs.

I make out a play list for every character and buy the records they would listen to; it helps me find their personas. What they play, where they stay, who they lay, is my matrix for character development.

If every cunt had a ride whin they hud a heidache, thir widnae be as much fuckin trouble in the world.

It wis like auld times, but in a sense that only served tae remind us ay how much things hud changed.

I created something that became a phenomenon without becoming a prisoner to it.

Ah suppose man, ah'm too much ay a perfectionist, ken? It's likesay, if things go a bit dodgy, ah jist cannae be bothered, y'know.

That fucker defines cuntishness.

It's that kind of thing that readers have. I have it as a reader myself: that expectation that the writer will be that person. Then I meet other writers and realize that they're not.

I come up with a blurb at the beginning, but the book will always be completely different by the time it's finished. They say, 'Where's the book you were going to write?' And I say, 'Forget about it. It doesn't exist.'

When I started off with Trainspotting, it was the way the characters came to me. That's how they sounded to me. It seemed pretentious to sound any other way. I wasn't making any kind of political statement.

It's different in Scotland. People who come to readings are more interested in literature as such, but the readership in general is really quite diverse. It's a cliche, but it's said that people who read my books don't read any other books, and you do get that element.

I enjoy the freedom of the blank page.

Basically, particularly in Britain, it's a hegemonic thing that people who write tend to come from the leisure classes. They can afford the time and the books.

Ah sortay jist laugh whin some cats say that racism's an English thing and we're aw Jock Tamson's bairn up here . . . it's likesay pure shite man, gadges talkin through their erses.

If you're going to do something that's going to cause offence to people, you're always going to get a reaction.

No tears come, and it would be pointless, like trying to empty a reservoir of grief by drip feed. I'm being daft.

He was a very arrogant young man, so full of himself.

Same rules apply.

Begbie doesnae even notice; he's in his element, particularly good at funerals in the way a lot ay psychopaths tend tae be. Ah suppose if bringing death and despair is yir life's work, then being somewhere like this must feel like a result; the job's already done and you can just kick back and relax.

As if the physical proximity can make up for the emotional distance.

I don't want everything to be flowery perfection. I like it there to be a charge behind it, you know?

Does it? Get easier, I mean, he asks urgently. The cop shakes his heid. — Does it fuck; it gets bleedin worse. All that happens is that the expectations you have of life fall. You just get used to all the shit. Renton.

It could have been suicide or an accident, or perhaps that grey area in between.

This is a bit like being accused of shagging the sister ah don't have.

Franco's voice is something tae hear, it's like wi it bein Hogmanay, he's absorbed just the right amount ay alcohol n good vibes and they intersect at this wonderous vector as he briefly becomes something else, this force ay grace and soul.

Underground people pay a desperate toll finding out things nobody else has discovered yet. We run around like headless chickens looking for the next cultural fix to spiral around in before it gets appropriated somewhere else and becomes something it never was. There's this sort of one-upmanship in the underground.

When people start writing there is this idea that you have to get everything right first time, every sentence has to be perfect, every paragraph has to be perfect, every chapter has to be perfect, but what you're doing is not any kind of public show, until you're ready for it.

Everybody that writes has their own area of inquiry. And mine has always been kind of, why is it that when life can be so hard and difficult, we compound it by self-sabotage, doing terrible things? That's always been my main area of inquiry, and it does lead you to dark places.

It's really odd that I've got this kind of sullen reputation - I never saw myself that way.

It's very difficult to be objective about yourself and your own circumstances, but one thing I do know about is that I grew up surrounded by storytellers.

Analysing novels meant ripping oot their soul and it destroyed my enjoyment of them. Ah couldnae allow masel tae be trained tae thing that way. Only by refusing tae study literature was ah able tae maintain ma passion for it.

When I'm not writing, I read loads of fiction, but I've been writing quite constantly lately so I've been reading a lot of nonfiction - philosophy, religion, science, history, social or cultural studies.

Mental burds; needy, crazy, strength-sappin n soul-destroyin, aye, but mair often than not barry fuckin rides.

Love does not exist, it's like religion, the state wants you to believe in that kind of crap so they can control you, and f**k your head up.

Living like this is a full-time business.

The '90s was a decade of mundane market-consumer nothingness where there was nothing coming up from the streets; you just had someone in an office deciding what was cool.

I have a lot of successful musician pals, and as I get older, I find that I'm lucky to be a writer. I have great anonymity compared to musicians who sell the same number of records as I do books.