Quotes

The mystery story

24 August 2016

The mystery story is a kind of writing that need not dwell in the shadow of the past and owes little if any allegiance to the cult of the classics. It is a good deal more than unlikely that any writer now living will produce a better historical novel than Henry Esmond, a better tale of children than The Golden Age, a sharper social vignette than Madame Bovary, a more graceful and elegant evocation than The Spoils of Poynton, a wider and richer canvas than War and Peace or The Brothers Karamazov. But to devise a more plausible mystery than The Hound of the Baskervilles or The Purloined Letter should not be too difficult. Nowadays it would be rather more difficult not to.

Raymond Chandler

I hung up

23 August 2016

I hung up. It was a step in the right direction, but it didn’t go far enough. I ought to have locked the door and hid under the desk.

Raymond Chandler

A check girl in peach-bloom Chinese pajamas

22 August 2016

A check girl in peach-bloom Chinese pajamas came over to take my hat and disapprove of my clothes. She had eyes like strange sins.

Raymond Chandler

I don’t mind

21 August 2016

I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings.

Raymond Chandler

I’m an occasional drinker

20 August 2016

I’m an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.

Raymond Chandler

Time passes

19 August 2016

Time passes, as the novelist says. The single most useful trick of fiction for our repair and refreshment: the defeat of time. A century of family saga and a ride up an escalator can take the same number of pages. Fiction sets any conversion rate, then changes it in a syllable. The narrator’s mother carries her child up the stairs and the reader follows, for days. But World War I passes in a paragraph. I needed 125 pages to get from Labor Day to Christmas vacation. In six more words, here’s spring.

Richard Powers

If my books

18 August 2016

If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important.

Roald Dahl

When

17 August 2016

When all think alike, then no one is thinking.

Walter Lippman

So long

16 August 2016

So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.

Franz Kafka

Contract Law

15 August 2016

Contract law is essentially a defensive scorched-earth battleground where the constant question is, “if my business partner was possessed by a brain-eating monster from beyond spacetime tomorrow, what is the worst thing they could do to me?”

Charles Stross

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