The first person you should think of pleasing, in writing a book, is yourself. If you can amuse yourself for the length of time it takes to write a book, the publisher and the readers can and will come later.— Patricia Highsmith
The most irresistibly Patricia Highsmith quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
I should love to do a novel, about one abnormal character seeing present-day life, very ordinary life, yet arresting through it, abnormality, until at the end the reader sees, and with little reluctance, that he is not abnormal at all, and that the main character might as well be himself.
Life is a long failure of understanding ... a long, mistaken shutting of the heart.
In view of the fact that I surround myself with numbskulls now, I shall die among numbskulls, and on my deathbed shall be surrounded by numbskulls who will not understand what I am saying ... Whom am I sleeping with these days ? Franz Kafka.
But there were too many points at which the other self could invade the self he wanted to preserve, and there were too many forms of invasion: certain words, sounds, lights, actions his hands or feet performed, and if he did nothing at all, heard and saw nothing, the shouting of some triumphant inner voice that shocked him and cowed him.
One situation – maybe one alone – could drive me to murder: family life, togetherness.
I have Graham Greene's telephone number, but I wouldn't dream of using it.
I don't seek out writers because we all want to be alone.
What was it to love someone, what was love exactly, and why did it end or not end? Those were the real questions, and who could answer them?
This is what I like, sitting at a table and watching people go by.
It does something to your outlook on life. The Anglo-Saxons make a great mistake not staring at people from a sidewalk table.
The night was a time for bestial affinities, for drawing closer to oneself.
How was it possible to be afraid and in love.
.. The two things did not go together. How was it possible to be afraid, when the two of them grew stronger together every day? And every night. Every night was different, and every morning. Together they possessed a miracle.
When I am thickening my plots, I like to think 'What if .
.. What if ... ' Thus my imagination can move from the likely, which everyone can think of, to the unlikely-but-possible, my preferred plot.
Every man is his own law court and punishes himself enough.
Robert Walker as Bruno was excellent.
He had elegance and humor, and the proper fondness for his mother
I prefer to live in the country where it's quiet. Woody Allen movies there are dubbed into Italian.
I was in New York. Hitchcock was in California. He rang me to make a report on his progress and said, I'm having trouble. I've just sacked my second screenwriter
If people have bought something of mine, they know by now that I will decline writing it for the movies
I don't want to know movie directors.
I don't want to be close to them. I don't want to interfere with their work. I don't want them to interfere with mine.
He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with.They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn' t that worth something? He existed.
I think J.D. Salinger is correct in granting no interviews, and in making no speeches
That wasn't a bad price for a first book.
My agent upped it as much as possible. I was 27 and had nothing behind me. I was working like a fool to earn a living and pay for my apartment
I don`t set the alarm to get up. I get up when I feel like it.
Dusk was falling quickly. It was just after 7 P.M., and the month was October.
The conversation seemed just as boring and forgettable as details of American history around 1805, for example.
And no book, and possibly no painting, when it is finished, is ever exactly like the first dream of it.
My New Year’s Eve Toast: to all the devils, lusts, passions, greeds, envies, loves, hates, strange desires, enemies ghostly and real, the army of memories, with which I do battle — may they never give me peace. (New Year's Eve, 1947)
It always gets late with you. - Is that a compliment?
But there was not a moment when she did not see Carol in her mind, and all she saw, she seemed to see through Carol. That evening, the dark flat streets of New York, the tomorrow of work, the milk bottle dropped and broken in her sink, became unimportant. She flung herself on her bed and drew a line with a pencil on a piece of paper. And another line, carefully, and another. A world was born around her, like a bright forest with a million shimmering leaves.
Everything human is alien to me.
Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.
The kiss became the narrowed center of the still point of the turning world, so that even the park was turning in comparison to the still peace at their lips.
He liked the fact that Venice had no cars.
It made the city human. The streets were like veins, he thought, and the people were the blood, circulating everywhere.
I can't write if someone else is in the house, not even the cleaning woman.
Perhaps it was freedom itself that choked her.
Honesty, for me, is usually the worst policy imaginable.
How easy it was to lie when one had to lie!
Then Carol slipped her arm under her neck, and all the length of their bodies touched fitting as if something had prearranged it. Happiness was like a green vine spreading through her, stretching fine tendrils, bearing flowers through her flesh. She had a vision of a pale white flower, shimmering as if seen in darkness, or through water. Why did people talk of heaven, she wondered
I think people often try to find through sex things that are much easier to find in other ways.
Honestly, I don't understand why people get so worked up about a little murder!
I find the public passion for justice quite boring and artificial.
For neither life nor nature cares if justice is ever done or not.
The justice I have received, I shall give back.
Each book is, in a sense, an argument with myself, and I would write it, whether it is ever published or not.
one blow in anger [would] kill, probably, a child from aged two to eight.
Those over eight would take two blows to kill.
I have no television - I hate it.
I know you have it in you, Guy," Anne said suddenly at the end of a silence, "the capacity to be terribly happy.