It's hard to say goodbye for good at any time or any place. It's harder still to say it through a meshed wire. It crisscrossed his face into little diagonals, gave me only little broken-up molecules of it at a time. It stenciled a cold, rigid frame around every kiss.

— Cornell Woolrich

The most simplistic Cornell Woolrich quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

I was trying to cheat death. I was only trying to surmount for a little while the darkness that all my life I surely knew was going to come rolling in on me some day and obliterate me. I was only to stay alive a little brief while longer, after I was already gone.

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Each unto himself has his own world that he looks out upon, and though someone else were to stand on the very selfsame inch of ground your feet were placed upon, guided by chalk marks, he would not see the same things you did.

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You see, this would be a death by the imagination.

And though the imagination feeds on phantoms, it needs a premise in reality to begin with. Then it can go on from there under its own power.

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It seems so long ago that he was last afraid of anything.

Seventeen, was he then? Eighteen? Sometimes he thinks he's missing a lot by being like this - fear gives life a fillip. He wonders how it is he lost it all, and what there is - if anything - ever to bring it back.

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It was as simple as that - they met. As simple as only beautiful things can be beautiful, as only life-changing things, turning-point things, can be simple. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")

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Fear! Fear again, for the first time since his 'teens.

Fear, that he thought he would never know any more. Fear that no weapon, no jeopardy, no natural cataclysm, has ever been able to inspire until now. And now here it is running icily through him in the hot Chinese noon. Fear for the thing he loves, the only fear that can ever wholly cow the reckless and the brave.

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I think fear neutralizes alcohol, weakens its anesthetic power.

It's good for small fears; your boss, your wife, your bills, your dentist; all right then to take a drink. But for big ones it doesn't do any good. Like water on blazing gasoline, it will only quicken and compound it. It takes sand, in the literal and the slang sense, to smother the bonfire that is fear. And if you're out of sand, then you must burn up.

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Time is strange. A moment can be as short as a breath, or as long as eternity.

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As for her perfume, it was the kind you only noticed after she'd left a room, not while she was still in it. Even then you didn't realize it was perfume, you only wondered what had made you think of her just then.

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Beside her, her husband could only splutter, and he stopped even that when she half turned to flash him a smile - the instinctive, brilliant smile of a woman who knows what feeble creatures men can be. You couldn't learn to smile like that. It was something a woman either knew the minute she was born, or never knew at all. ("I'm Dangerous Tonight")

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It's just some instinct as old as fear: you seek the dark when you hide, you seek the light when the need to hide is gone. All the animals have it too.

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All guys are scared of each other, didn't you know that? I'm not the only one.

We're all born afraid.

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About Cornell Woolrich

Quotes 17 sayings
Profession Novelist
Birthday December 4, 1903

I had that trapped feeling, like some sort of a poor insect that you've put inside a downturned glass, and it tries to climb up the sides, and it can't, and it can't, and it can't.

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I turned away from him and went on my way, up the street and about my business.

The past was dead. The future was resignation, fatality, and could only end one way now. The present was numbness, that could feel nothing. Like Novocaine needled into your heart. What was there in all the dimensions of time for me? ("Life Is Weird Sometimes" first chapter of unpublished novel THE LOSER)

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It isn't dying I'm afraid of, it isn't that at all;

I know what it is to die, I've died already. It is the endless obliteration, the knowledge that there will never be anything else. That's what I can't stand, to try so hard and to end in nothing. You know what I mean, don't you? ... I really loved to write.

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After she's gone, another brief lull sets in.

This one is probably the last. But what good is a lull? It's only a breathing spell in which to get more frightened. Because anticipatory fear is always twice as strong as present fear. Anticipatory fear has both fears in it at once - the anticipatory one and the one that comes simultaneously with the dread happening itself. Present fear only has the one, because by that time anticipation is over.

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