Patricia Highsmith’s Devastating Diaries Reveal Their Darkest Profiles


The more than eight thousand pages of his notebooks reflect the misogyny of writing, the early doubts about his sexuality, his alcoholism and his phobias.

In life, she was more than jealous of her privacy. She was more interested in her cats than her peers, acquired a reputation for misanthropy and maintained an aura of secrecy. But now the darkest, most shocking and controversial profiles of Patricia Highsmith (Fort Woth, 1921- Locarno, 1995) emerge with the publication of ‘Diaries and notebooks 1941-1995’ (Anagram). When the American writer and creator of Ripley died, she left 18 diaries and 38 notebooks among the bedding in a closet. There are more than eight thousand pages that her editor, Anna von Planta, has immersed herself in, responsible for the nearly one thousand page selection now coming to light and presented this Tuesday in Barcelona.

His manuscripts illuminate “with all its complexities and contradictions” Highsmith’s hidden realm. The intrigue teacher deals with pivotal episodes in her life and talks about her misogyny, her alcoholism and her phobias. He pours out his powerful and controversial opinions and shows the ‘kitchen’ of his literary universe. It allows us to verify that his most famous character, the sociopath Tom Ripley, is “the distilled fruit of his inner demons.”

The lyrics cover Highsmith’s entire life, from his college days in the United States to his last years in Switzerland. They reveal the author’s youthful doubts about her sexual identity. His wild nights in New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1940s, alongside characters such as Judy Holliday and Jane Bowles. He recounts the first glimpses of his literary vocation and the early success of ‘Strangers on a Train’, which Alfred Hitchcock soon brought to the cinema. It’s about her time in the Yaddo artist colony, along with Chester Himes and Flannery O’Connor, and her “neat and cramped love life,” which partly reflects “The Price of Salt,” the lesbian love novel Highsmith published under a pseudonym to scandal and would give her the title ‘Carol’.

Highsmith, who called her friend Graham Greene “the poet of fear,” produced tables in which she classified and compared her lovers. She was a communist in her youth and at only 21 years old she wrote: “I am not interested in people, in meeting them.” “But I’m extremely interested in a woman in a dark doorway on Eleventh Street,” she adds. “I don’t care about humanity in individuals. I don’t care what their breath smells like,” he said in his diaries. He leaves anti-Semitic, racist and misogynistic comments, such as pointing out that women “stay dolls, they’re never alone, they never feel alone on their own.” convenience, they are always looking for a master, a partner, someone deep down who gives them commands or guidance.” Likewise, lapidary expressions such as “melancholy is the absence of direction”, or that “to live satisfactorily is based on selflessness without to ask why”.

“Throughout her life, Highsmith has built herself a breastplate and a mask to protect herself and hide from the world, but she strips both away in these pages, coming across as deeply rooted and raw, with a relentless passion for life and writing. – a creator with a stormy inner world and a painfully human woman,” her editors say.

Highsmith was one of the most disturbing and original writers of her generation. A true classic of suspense literature and very well treated by the cinema that has adapted many of his novels, he became universally famous for ‘Strangers on a Train’ and the pentalogy dedicated to the character of Tom Ripley.

In addition to “Strangers on a Train,” titles like “The Knife,” “Carol,” “The Talent of Mr. Ripley’, ‘The Sea in the Background’, ‘A Game for the Living’, ‘That Sweet Evil’, ‘The Scream of the Owl’, ‘The Two Faces of January’, ‘The Glass Cell’, ‘Imaginary Crimes ‘, ‘The Tremor of Forgery’, ‘The Game of Hide-and-Seek’, ‘The American Friend’, ‘Edith’s Diary’, ‘In Ripley’s Footsteps’, ‘People Knocking at the Door’, ‘Ripley in Danger and Small G : A Summer Idyll’. He also signed the storybooks “Little misogynistic tales,” “Bestial crimes,” “Mermaids on the golf course,” “Catastrophes,” “The exquisite corpses,” “Birds about to fly,” or “A dangerous hobby.”

Source: La Verdad

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