A curious thing about atrocity stories is that they mirror, instead of the events they purport to describe, the extent of the hatred of the people that tell them.
Still, you can't listen unmoved to tales of misery and murder.
(John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Journeys Between Wars, "Introduction to Civil War 1916-1937," Harcourt Brace and Company (1938).)
The same people who are murdered slowly in the mechanized slaughterhouses of work are also arguing, singing, drinking, dancing, making love, holding the streets, picking up weapons and inventing a new poetry.
(Raoul Vaneigem (b. 1934), Belgian situationist philosopher. The Revolution of Everyday Life, ch. 5 (1967, trans. 1983).)
Suddenly, she wasn't drunk anymore. Her hand was steady and she was cool. Like somebody making funeral arrangements for a murder not yet committed.
(John Paxton (1911-1985), U.S. screenwriter, and Edward Dmytryk. Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell), Murder, My Sweet, Jessie Florian spied by private eye Philip Marlowe making a telephone call after his visit (1944).
Marlowe is offering the police his narration of a crime. Based on the novel.)
... in the nineteen-thirties ... the most casual reader of murder mysteries could infallibly detect the villain, as soon as there entered a character who had recently washed his neck and did not commit mayhem on the English language.
(Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 21 (1954).
Written in 1937. Glasgow, an American Southern novelist who was writing during the 1930sthough not mysterieswas describing the decade's "cult of the hairy ape.")
A commitment to sexual equality with males ... is a commitment to becoming the rich instead of the poor, the rapist instead of the raped, the murderer instead of the murdered.
(Andrea Dworkin (b. 1946), U.S. feminist critic. Speech, October 12, 1974, at the National Organization for Women Conference on Sexuality, New York City. "Renouncing Sexual 'Equality'," ch. 2, published in Our Blood (1976).)
If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
(Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859), British author. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (1827). "Murder Considered As One of the Fine Arts," The Collected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, ed. D. Masson (1889).)
It was a hot afternoon and I can still remember the smell of honeysuckle all along the street. How can I have known that murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle?
(Billy Wilder (b. 1906) U.S. (Austrian born) film director, and Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), U.S. author, screenwriter. Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), Double Indemnity, recording his murder confession into an office dictaphone for his boss, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), while weak from a gunshot wound (1944).)