... 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.")
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.)
We are not cave dwellers anymore, we live in the age of technology. When someone needs a car, he does not need to build it. He can buy it. When someone needs a murder, he himself does not need to kill. He can order it.
(Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), Swiss dramatist, novelist, essayist. Trans. by Gerhard P. Knapp (1995). The Collaborator, pt. I (1976).
On technological progress and free enterprise.)
For those for whom the sex act has come to seem mechanical and merely the meeting and manipulation of body parts, there often remains a hunger which can be called metaphysical but which is not recognized as such, and which seeks satisfaction in physical danger, or sometimes in torture, suicide, or murder.
(Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist. Title essay, The Mechanical Bride (1951).)
The force of a death should be enormous but how can you know what kind of man you've killed or who was the braver and stronger if you have to peer through layers of glass that deliver the image but obscure the meaning of the act? War has a conscience or it's ordinary murder.
(Don Delillo (b. 1926), U.S. author. Frank Vásquez, in Libra, pt. 2, "6 September," (1988).)
You lovers of knowledge! So what have you done out of your love of knowledge up to now? Have you already stolen and murdered so as to know how a thief and a murderer feels?
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 10, p. 192, selection 5, number 47, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished fragments dating to November 1882February 1883.
Originally meant to be attributed to Zarathustra in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.)
It is a crime to put a Roman citizen in chains, it is an enormity to flog one, sheer murder to slay one: what, then, shall I say of crucifixion? It is impossible to find the word for such an abomination.
(Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.), Roman orator, philosopher, statesman. II, v, 170.)
A man is murdered a mile away. And do you know what killed him? My name. The very name of Frankenstein burst his heart. And now the happy little villagers are clamoring for my blood.
(Willis Cooper, and Rowland V. Lee. Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), Son of Frankenstein, to his wife, while the mob gathers outside the gates after the second murder (1938).
Suggested by the story written in 1816 by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.)