10 Best
08.08.2012, Words by Charlie Jones

James Murphy or Thomas Pynchon – who wrote what?

After giving you an insight into James Murphy’s bookshelf earlier today, we noticed it was dominated by Thomas Pynchon, a man Murphy has long praised. Here is an quick game for you: 20 quotes, ten by the reclusive author behind such great novels as Gravity’s Rainbow and The Crying Of Lot 49, ten by the DFA label boss, sound engineer, failed comedy writer and frontman of the great LCD Soundsystem. It’s up to you to work out which post-modern genius is which. Scroll down to see the answers.

  1. “What, I should only trust good people? Man, good people get bought and sold every day.”
  2. “For that moment at least they seemed to give up external plans, theories, and codes, even the inescapable romantic curiosity about one another, to indulge in being simply and purely young, to share that sense of the world’s affliction, that outgoing sorrow at the spectacle of Our Human Condition which anyone this age regards as reward or gratuity for having survived adolescence.”
  3. “[It] makes you want to feel like a teenager; until you remember the feelings of a real-life, emotional teenager. Then you think again”
  4. “She stared at the pills in it, and then understood.”
  5. “Alone and prone in the halflight, late to real life – if you will find a way into the gold rush, you will stay until the morning comes. You will normalize.”
  6. “Forget a terrible year. We can break the laws, until it gets weird.”
  7. “These times are unfriendly toward worlds alternative to this one”
  8. “If you’re afraid of what you need. Look around you. You’re surrounded!”
  9. “This is America, you live in it, you let it happen. Let it unfurl.”
  10. “Next worst thing to unrequited love? Insufficient hate.”
  11. “The day becomes the night. The day becomes the night. The day becomes the night. The day becomes the night.”
  12. “As the day light left the city that night, the streetlamps were not up to anything like their usual candle-power.”
  13. “It won’t get any better until the night.”
  14. “In the tedious march of the few, every day’s a different warning. We should try a little harder.”
  15. “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”
  16. “Laboring through a world every day more stultified … what were the chances of finding anyone else seeking to transcend that, and not even particularly aware?”
  17. “Hey, the rock writer told me to tell you Though you’re great and you’re brave; you still lack that which makes you a star.”
  18. “I knew you were low, man. Power eyes never lie. Kids … Kids never lie.”
  19. “I still don’t even know for sure what a tendril is.”
  20. “A case of the ha ha ha ha’s.”

Scroll down for the answers.


  1. Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
  2. Thomas Pynchon, V
  3. James Murphy, Sound of Silver
  4. Thomas Pynchon, The Crying Of Lot 49
  5. James Murphy, Get Innocous
  6. James Murphy, Home
  7. Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon
  8. James Murphy, Home
  9. Thomas Pynchon, The Crying Of Lot 49
  10. Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon
  11. James Murphy, Drunk Girls
  12. Thomas Pynchon, Against The Day
  13. James Murphy, Home
  14. James Murphy, Dance Yrself Clean
  15. Thomas Pynchon, Against The Day
  16. Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
  17. James Murphy, Watch The Tapes
  18. James Murphy, Time to get Away
  19. Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner
  20. James Murphy, Yr City’s a Sucker

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