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A Portrait of the Author as a Young Woman

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A Portrait of the Author as a Young Woman

P_atricia Highsmith, who printed twenty-two novels, including “Deep Water” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” died in 1995, at the age of seventy-four. By the time of her death, she had alienated many of the folks in her lifestyles, espousing racist, anti-Semitic, and otherwise offensive views, nonetheless the eight thousand pages of diaries and notebooks she left in the back of—an edited version of which is able to be printed this November—depict an engaged, social, and optimistic adolescence. The following picks initiate in the spring of 1948, when the twenty-seven-year-outdated Highsmith had a two-month residency at the Yaddo artists’ colony. There, she met the British author Marc Brandel, with whom she began an on-again, off-again relationship, and carried out writing her first contemporary, “Strangers on a Train.” To make money, for several years Highsmith wrote for comics, including those printed by Well timed, which later became Marvel. In December, 1948, she also chanced on seasonal work in the toy department of Bloomingdale’s, where she offered a doll to Mrs. E. R. Senn, the significant other of a wealthy businessman from Contemporary Jersey, who became the inspiration for the character Carol, in her contemporary “The Stamp of Salt,” which was first printed, in 1952, under a pseudonym._

april 3, 1948: Have rented a typewriter, and begun, in accurate temper, another ending on the Comp. [Woman’s Home Companion] story. It flows. But each day that goes by—where is the writing I care for to attain? I have confidence it in me. Shall I be care for those folks without number who feel a destiny to jot down magnificent works one day? But wanting at them I know I am various, and I put my trust in my intensity—my broad need—which I attain no longer understand at all in them. The fortune-teller’s remark to my mother in N.O. [New Orleans] haunts me: “You have one child—a son. No, a daughter. It may perhaps detached have been a boy, nevertheless it’s a girl.” All around me, the happy, lighthearted, happily living couples of the South. Courtship is so easy, the attainment so easy, their bodies so fortunate.

Early Newspaper

april 10, 1948: My mother awakened me at 9 with a call that I have been admitted to Yaddo. I am overjoyed and satisfied. Such a aid, care for a soldier, to have one’s lifestyles planned for the next 10-12 weeks! My mother pleased, too, and grandma impressed. Grandma read all about Yaddo in the pamphlet. How vast in range are her pursuits—how mighty grander a individual is she than all her offspring.

may 11-30, 1948: What to say of Yaddo? I shall never disregard it. A singularly tiresome bunch, no tall names—although Marc Brandel is attention-grabbing. Bob White, Clifford Wright, Irene Orgel, Gail Kubik, Chester Himes, and Vivien K[och] MacLeod, W. S. Graham, a Scots poet, Harold Shapero & significant other, Stan[ley] Levine, painter, Flannery O’Connor. Great have to drink, after 3 days. The drunkest evening of my lifestyles after ten days. At the Maranese Restaurant btw. right here & metropolis, the place we took dinner when the kitchen moved from garage to mansion. None of us ate mighty. We trooped into the bar & drank as if we had never had cocktails earlier than. Mixing was the expose—for a thrill—Marc rapidly succumbed, with carrot hair in his carrot soup. I exchanged a revealing phrase with C. Wright, the solitary gay individual right here, which was carried no farther. We both know. So what?

I have to have had five Martinis or six. Plus two Manhattans. A near blackout at Jimmy’s with Bob & Cliff, who had passed out at the Maranese, & had to be carried by three of us into the cab. We propped him on a stool in Jimmy’s, whence he fell care for an egg. We seated him in the taxi, nonetheless when we came out he was gone! The taxi fare $7.50 for Bob & me by the time we carried out wanting at Bob’s drawings in his studio. The driver ingesting & wanting, too. When we refused, we had been whisked back to metropolis, passing Cliff on the way, staggering under the dark elms of Union Avenue on his 2-mile accelerate back home. This evening has develop into legendary as “the Evening Clifford Fell in the Lake.”

Chester tried (in his room) to kiss me. Did I mention it already? Doesn’t matter.

There are six artists right here. We are all very various from one another, but remarkably sociable, I assume. What strikes me most forcibly is our basic similarity, in fact. It happened to me last evening, if any of us saw a white demonstrate being slid under the crack of our door—with a sound care for insist in the quiet depths of midmorning—each of us would fall his work and spring for it. With what hope? Perhaps a buddy, some set aside of personal alternative, of a singling out from the relaxation. And it adopted—personal security, ego assurance, a lover. These every artist wants and wants. Even the married artist is constantly attuned to these wants. The mornings. Energy is too abundant at ten. The world is too rich to be eaten. One sits in a whirl at one’s desk pondering of drawing, writing, walking in the woods. The overwhelming flood of ride rushing in from all sides. In the morning only attain I ever need a drink to decrease my energy from 115% to 100%.

5/15/48: Please attempt to understand if every artist isn’t ruthless in some way. Even the sweetest of characters have performed one thing, generally because of their creative lifestyles, that to the relaxation of the world is inhuman. Some cases are more evident, others may be more concealed. I know mine exists, my cruelty. Although where I cannot precisely say, for I attempt always to purge myself of inappropriate. Generally it is far selfishness in an artist. And because he matters himself so cheerfully to all varieties of privations for his art, it is far complicated for him to glimpse whereby he has been responsible of selfishness. He sees it as selfishness for such an clearly noteworthy cause, too. Generally, in one earn or another, it is far a self-preservative selfishness, in regard to his no longer giving adequate of himself to the world or another individual.

[no date] After three weeks at Yaddo. The soul lusts for its hold corruption—after simply one week. Desperately, through alcohol, it tries to reestablish contact with the relaxation of humanity. One’s eternal and individual loneliness is silhouetted sharply against dark green pine woods where it looks no human pick has ever walked or will ever walk. And, too, there is the need born of loneliness also, to mingle spiritually with all the relaxation of the world of this year 1948 which is now starving, fighting, writhing in agony of thirst and undressed wounds, whoring, cheating, scheming, growing private, secret fondnesses for the stinking gutter. We want that, for it is far our destiny, too, and Yaddo is depriving us. There is the second of disclose corruption, around eleven or eleven-thirty in the morning. One goes to urinate, washes their hands and appears to be like into the bathroom replicate. The clock in the workroom grows audible. One realizes the isolation and imprisonment of the physique, one realizes the hell of the physique, and no longer only right here, in all places and as prolonged as one lives, one longs for another physique, naked and loving, a man or a woman, as it may be. One mixes a drink of rye and water, sips half of it truculently at a window, appears to be like at the sterile, made mattress and contemplates masturbating and turns from it in fear and scorn. One stalks about the room care for a criminal imprisoned, unregenerate, incorrigible. That is the second delectable, nihilitive, supreme, all-answering, the second of disclose corruption.

june 2, 1948: Happiness overwhelms me. Twenty-three days at Yaddo. My lifestyles is regular, pleasant, healthful on the evident plane. (And how often and where in the past eight years, since I lived with my parents, have I been able to say this?) On the much less evident plane, it restoreth my dignity, my self-confidence, it enables me to total what I have never achieved, that child of my spirit, my contemporary, and give it start.

june 26, 1948: A turning point. Went with Marc to the lake and mentioned homosexuality fairly a bit. Amazingly tolerant he is. And he convinced me I have to abolish guilt for these impulses and emotions. (Can’t I take into account Gide? Ought to I always attempt to “reinforce” myself?) I returned with fairly a various attitude. I assume more highly of myself. I have opened myself a cramped to the world.

august 2, 1948: These days, I’ve been speaking with Jeanne about the need for us to separate. Promised Marc I would. She was sad, nonetheless understands. Principally she was jealous, I assume. And later with Marc. I asked if he may perhaps exhaust the evening with me. Said yes. He was very candy, nonetheless nothing happened, and I was upset again.

8/5/48: Again and again, I have the imaginative and prescient of a home in the country with the blond significant other whom I adore, with the adolescence whom I adore, on the land and with the bushes I adore. I know this may never be, but will probably be partially, that tantalizing measure (of a man) which leads me on. My God, and my beloved, it can never be! And but I care for, in flesh and bone and clothed in care for, as all mankind.

september 10, 1948: Provincetown. Marc drunk when I arrived. Ann Smith [a painter, designer, and ex-Vogue model, a friend of Marc Brandel’s] visited us, I assume probably to fetch a glimpse at me. She pursuits me—young, aesthetic, clear-slash, and understanding. We wanted to take a walk (a few days later), and Marc accompanied us. Positive—I have confidence care for I’m in penitentiary. Always has to be care for that—with a man.

11/23/48: Opening at Midtown of B.P.’s [Betty Parsons’s] gallery. All the ancient acquaintances, traffic of my traffic of my twenty-first year. Age has sagged a chin line, silvered a golden head, stamped its uniform signature of tiredness on a dozen faces. I assume of Proust, re-seeing the Guermantes clan in the last chapter of “À la Recherche du Temps Perdu.”

“Your favorite scene where he tramples the metropolis’s small enterprise is coming up, sir.”
Cartoon by Frank Cotham

december 6, 1948: First day at Bloomingdale’s. Training, and in the toy [department]. Very pleased.

december 7, 1948: Hard work. Promoting dolls, how monstrous and dear! And then—at 5 p.m., somebody stole my meat for dinner! What kind of wolves one works with!

december 8, 1948: Was this the day I saw Mrs. E. R. Senn? How we regarded at each other—this intellectual-wanting woman! I want to ship her a Christmas card, and am planning what I’ll write on it.

april 23, 1949: How mighty I resent about Marc these days—his never doing anything nonetheless reading when he is right here, while I attempt to play data, repair drinks, watch meat & canapés in the oven, simultaneously repair dinner, wash dishes, attain the mattress (and disgusting diaphragm) and, in the morning, prepare breakfast. He hasn’t the particular sensitivity to realize that a individual in the bathroom doesn’t wish another individual sitting at the table steady out of doors the door. These and a thousand issues disturb my digestion, banish the gains made at other occasions.

may 7, 1949: [The fashion designer and painter] Mme. [Elizabeth] Lyne’s party tonight. The party a fiasco, because dear Marc thought two boys had been making passes at him. I purchased my coat and left. Wish I’d stayed on or suggested him off—one or the other, for I came home in a quiet, pent fury.

may 8, 1949: Very dismal from last evening. “You’d greater make up your thoughts whom you care for,” said Ann, “because you’re wasting a hell of a lot of valuable time . . . irrevocable time.” I have confidence she refers to my lack of achievement in my work, my age, and many others., and it all overwhelmed me. Moreover, I have confidence literally disadvantaged of one thing, now that I cannot fall in care for with anyone. On the other hand, it takes only a lunch with Dione (or even a accurate drawing) and laughter to make me feel, and know I am, happier now, enjoying lifestyles more now, than ever earlier than. Such a fact allows me to bear a great deal—even the thought of going away with Marc. Although, actually, Saturday evening dissuaded me from that. I am going to no longer be imprisoned so.

may 20, 1949: A sorrowful, uneventful day, unless Margot [Johnson, Highsmith’s agent] suggested me that Harpers wants my e-book! Every part happens at as soon as! After all these months of plodding dullness, the e-book and Europe. And—so I asked Marc to approach over for dinner. He brought champagne. And we determined to marry Christmas Day. Three excessive features of my lifestyles—indisputably!

june 4, 1949: Rosalind [Constable, a friend and a writer], Marc, my mother saw me off. A short farewell, for the cabin is no longer attractive (D deck!) and the Queen sailed promptly. I couldn’t understand any of them from the deck. Who is with me most? Ann. I assume of her pondering of me today. Every part a madhouse. One will get misplaced dozens of occasions a day. The meals are thrown at one, then snatched away. No person attractive in vacationer class, and we are very successfully barred from fraternizing with the other two.

6/7/49: I am moving as to that part of the thoughts which psychology (which denies the soul) cannot obtain, or assist, or assuage, mighty much less banish—namely, the soul. I am moving as to the soul’s dissatisfactions, that ever unsatisfied allotment of man, which may possibly ever be one thing else, no longer necessarily greater, nonetheless one thing else, no longer necessarily richer, more comfortable, or even happier, nonetheless one thing else. It is this I want to jot down about next.

june 11, 1949: A delicious first-class carriage poke from Southampton to London, where both Dennis [Cohen, Highsmith’s future U.K. publisher] & Kathryn [Cohen’s wife] met me at Waterloo Station. Dennis in a Rolls-Royce. And a beautiful home to approach home to—a Siamese cat, a amazing lunch with Riesling. Kathryn is charming!

june 17, 1949: With Kathryn to Stratford. Wretched Kathryn—she unburdens her heart to me, I trust, about Dennis. She has money to play with, nonetheless passion—she cannot exhaust at the second, and she has a treasure of that. A rushed bite of dinner at the Avon [Hotel], and to “Othello” with Diana Wynyard as Desdemona, John Slater as Iago, Geoffrey Tearle as Othello.

june 20, 1949: London. Increasingly I wants to be drugged to be creative. Whether right here’s a stage, whether it is far faulty (it is far momentarily faulty) is the great topic. The worst letter from Ann. She writes me almost daily. “Why attain you write to me. Even as you happen to cherished me, we must detached are living together & there may perhaps be no search information from. It has been almost a year . . . I cannot retain the gentle contact for a lot longer.” And from Marc, the first letter. Rather cool, otherwise all fair. I have confidence so tenderly toward him. But which is I???? Extraordinarily tired. I develop ever thinner.

6/20/49: There wants to be violence, to satisfy me, and therefore drama & suspense. These are my principles.

june 22, 1949: Today at last a grand possibility. It is rather no longer likely to assume of marrying Marc—a sacrilege. I take Ann. But as but I cannot trust my emotions adequate to assume I care for her adequate. Perhaps that will approach—immediately—for her. But I know I would only harm Marc and myself by marrying him.

[no date] How I leave out the prolonged talks with Kathryn. What issues battle through my head. What a charming woman is she. And the pity. The unjustness. The male earn without context: in all places. Dennis incapable of loving her. How alive she detached is. How noteworthy of adoration. What a beautiful instrument to play on! What songs may perhaps she issue! How proud may perhaps she make her lover! I approach to Paris pondering of the strange kiss she gave me the evening earlier than I left, the way she held me end and would no longer let me meander. And why? And why? And why was I no longer bolder? How many years since somebody had kissed her—a modest kiss, nonetheless one with reality—as I did that evening? I must detached have cherished to attach her in my arms all evening, to offer her the feeling of being cherished and desired, because the feeling is more important than the deed.

july 18, 1949: I wrote to Marc—finally—severing all the pieces, telling him I am clear I cannot be to him what I must detached.

7/29/49: Europe for the first time at twenty-eight: it widens one’s pursuits again, makes one diverse as at seventeen. This closing up! I hate it. It grows on one slowly from nineteen onward, as S. [Samuel] Johnson said.

august 23, 1949: Roma—a soiled metropolis. All the men masturbating or one thing, staring with idiotic fixity at me. Wired K. last evening & she telephoned at 6 last evening. Wants to be a part of me in Naples. Was so happy —a suitable date with English-speaking buddy—and what a individual—I purchased Cognac, wore my sweater from Florence. How fortunate I am. Although struggling backache (?) and sore stomach, I have confidence care for a god as I lie alone in my room, too ailing, too apprehensive (physically) of what may perhaps happen in Rome, must detached I fall ailing, to transfer out. Out finally to eat a beefsteak & nothing else. Had had nothing nonetheless 2 omelets for 2 days. Forgive meals details, dear diary, nonetheless they develop into lifestyles details, perhaps. Kathryn will probably be a part of me Friday. I stride out the days in Rome unless then, therefore, hating it.

september 8, 1949: I wanted to embrace and kiss Kathryn. Despair—for what? I am no longer in care for along with her, only afraid to explain the least spontaneity in my emotions. Always afraid? Always afraid—no longer really of offending—nonetheless of being offended by another individual’s rejection. Together with her, I can only assume of my bad features, my untidy hair, bad enamel, my untidy sneakers, perhaps. We leave tonight for Palermo. The boat is beautiful. All at when we both purr care for kittens, responding to the cleanliness, the accurate service, above all the leaving of Naples, the change ahead. K. will stay with me unless I meander, then return to Rotterdam, finally to London where—all the pieces hellish awaits her—

september 21, 1949: To the Grotta Azzurra with K. Very cluttered with rowboats, so certainly 50% of the gentle was obscured. What a shame. Caught the 4: 10 bus back to Napoli. Then the parting. And the rushing. Grapes. And a last dinner with K. I in my white suit, which I’d wanted to wear the first evening along with her. We dined—indifferently—at the vine balcony restaurant of our first lunch. K. often holds me, appears to be like earnestly into my face, and kisses me on the lips. What does she wish me to say further? (I have said nothing.) She doesn’t wish anything. But mightn’t I? Plans—does K. want them? I realize it is far I who attain no longer want them. That K. may perhaps more easily bear than I may perhaps say, I shall approach to London next year and we shall are living together. No, I don’t know what I want. With ideal equanimity, I can contemplate nothing nonetheless temporary affairs—promiscuous ones—in N.Y. And but I hope for a jolt (of time, in time) to crystallize my needs. I prolonged to jot down, and dream of its coming out easily as a spider’s web. Now I know why I retain a diary. I am no longer at peace unless I continue the thread into the declare. I am attracted to analyzing myself, in attempting to sight the reasons why I attain such & such. I cannot attain this without shedding dried peas in the back of me to assist me retrace my route, to point a straight line in the darkness.

october 2, 1949: Does K. assume of me on this prolonged silence? I know she does. We have a strange psychic communication, we two. I began my contemporary, “Argument of Tantalus” [later titled “The Price of Salt”]. Seven or eight pages that went along with that ease and fluency (of vocabulary) that generally means nothing mighty need be changed later. Naturally, I am very happy today. The happiest since leaving Kathryn.

october 5, 1949: Page 28 of “Tantalus.” I have no clear detail of what happens as soon as Therese meets Carol. Nevertheless it goes romping along, mighty as I attain. All is my hold reaction to issues—with only, at the extremes, some extensions to practice more carefully the attitudes of my main character. The sea is rolling rather heavily tonight. Couldn’t sleep unless 2 a.m.

october 9, 1949: Have never felt such outpouring of myself—in all forms of writing. A great gush. I want to fetch this e-book out of me in the shortest potential time, no longer even stopping to earn a bit of money.

october 19, 1949: Marc called yesterday, to my shock. We had drinks and dinner tonight, says he detached feels the same, detached talks of marriage, “no longer in two years or even more, nonetheless you’re detached the individual I want to exhaust the relaxation of my lifestyles with.” Marc stayed the evening, attempting to please me, nonetheless being too self-effacing even.

october 22, 1949: Date with Marc. Went to dinner—bad at Le Moal’s—and film. He stayed. I was excessively tired, and then (in fact, unless I am drunk) he is so mighty dead weight in my mattress. Oh Christ, I want Kathryn in my mattress! I trust her. I care for the fact she is older than me. I assume she is beautiful and intellectual. I had another letter from her. More affectionate, I would say, more half said, than the other.

november 6, 1949: Typed almost all my [story] “Instantly and Ceaselessly” today. All I can say is, I’ve viewed such issues printed. Marc came up with a title [for the first novel] this morning. “Strangers on a Train.” I care for it very mighty & hope they attain. God bless him. He helps me so mighty. Am very grateful.

november 11, 1949: Lunch with Harpers. Joan Kahn & Mr. Sheehan, an editor, junior, who says he likes my e-book drastically, thinks it’s improbable. (Later spoke with Mme. Lyne, who said Sheehan dropped in, raved about the e-book, without brilliant she knew me.) Kahn: Will allow me to diagram “Tantalus” without showing even a piece of it. And some money can be arranged, too. Wants McCullers, and many others., to read “Strangers” and comment for jacket.

november 23, 1949: Thanksgiving morn: 2: 45 a.m. No letter from Kathryn. She doesn’t care for me. I had my chance, and I muffed it. (Will that be engraved upon my tombstone?) There is nothing in the world I want so mighty at this second as a be aware from her. A original be aware. One cannot meander on forever rereading the same letter. I am ailing, and starving, from living on what one always lives on. Hope. The future that never comes, because one never makes it. That is, I don’t. I have to reveal her that I care for her. I want her. I am hers. I want only to be along with her. I have to ask her, does she want it, too.

11/23/49: Continually I toy with my “if—ifs.” For instance, if my ride must detached be shut off now, sexually, emotionally (no longer intellectually), nonetheless mundanely, practically, I have confidence I must detached have adequate. I have stretched an hour into eternity. It is all within me. I have nonetheless to draw upon it. I have no longer been to sea for many months, nonetheless neither have I been immured. And but I know, as I write this, that in a week I shall condemn it as sterile, decadent, simply tiresome. Thank God, I am no longer the single individual, no longer even worshipping the Mind and the Soul with single thoughts, care for Melville! For Melville became insane, and I shall no longer. This afternoon in Hastings [New York], I raked leaves, in the solar and the air and the smoke. And I cherished my care for with all my heart. Therefore, I felt and I knew that I was no longer fully the priggish individual I had been half an hour earlier than, immersed in Melville’s “Pierre” and following his vagaries of soul with the most personally involved fascination. Therefore, I know I shall no longer ever meander mad. Which is one of the matters for which I give thanks this Thanksgiving Day.

“Is it potential you made the appointment under another name—care for, say, Handsome Prince?”
Cartoon by Michael Maslin

november 26, 1949: Another letter from Kathryn. The first in two weeks, nonetheless successfully [worth] waiting for. It transforms all the pieces. She misses me. It was a very intimate letter. I have never been so happy in my lifestyles. I have to literally relaxation a while each day, lest I fall dead with the absurd ailment of Euphoria. No longer that I am angry. I am calm, accrued, my concentration is even accurate. But I am blessed, and I realize it. All these years of repression, sacrifice, disillusionment, frustration have approach to be of value, for they assist me to measure my low happiness now.

november 26, 1949: Lyne informs me Sheehan of Harpers was mainly fascinated by my e-book’s [“Strangers on a Train” ’s] “homosexual theme” and presumably topic matter. I was astounded, a cramped afraid. Felt improbable this evening, going downtown after one Martini right here, my pinstripe suit. I take my hair straight. Frightfully, dangerously tired when I went to mattress at 4 a.m. I am always afraid of shedding dead, of route.

december 8, 1949: I read my notebooks all evening. A real thesaurus! I lay closer plans of “Tantalus.” I assume this may meander successfully. I have to no longer be too loose, that is all! I am happy tonight. And if I don’t have a letter from K. the following day, the fourteenth day? I shall be disappointed, sorry, nonetheless no longer unhappy. For betrayal of faith and trust is the very theme of “Tantalus,” which the following day I hope to initiate to jot down over again.

december 10, 1949: Labored. How successfully it all goes. How grateful I am at last no longer—as Lil says—to damage my most attention-grabbing thematic material by transposing it to a false male-female relationship!

1/10/50: Loneliness. No longer a mysterious visitation, no longer a disease. It is dependent what one has been doing last, what one will attain next, whether it comes or no longer. This has nothing to attain with “distraction,” either. I mean loneliness has to attain with the psyche’s rhythm alone. Distraction never keeps loneliness [at bay], of route. I honor loneliness: it is far austere, proud, untouchable, excluding by what it’d be touched by. Melancholy on the other hand can hastily be touched by distraction. For it is far a more logical factor. (And I can also understand myself writing the very reverse of all this one day.)

1/10/50: A demonstrate on hearing “America.” From sea to gleaming sea. The many small cities I have driven through. The many lighted home windows on the second floors of small properties, where young girls stand brushing their golden hair. The properties certain folks call home. The rooms that are certain folks’s hold rooms, unforgettable. And perhaps the rooms they will have all their lives. And the shaded window with the crimson atrocious over the sill, that I passed every morning on the way to excessive faculty in Toes. Rate. The bread they eat, and the boyfriends who call them, the cars they force to hamburger stands in, the summer evenings when the boys are home from faculties, and the betrothals are made. The adolescence that are born to lead the same clear-slash lives externally. And, always, the loneliness, the unsatisfied striving that is below the surface, mighty or cramped below. The girl who’s unsatisfied, and but has no longer the energy or perhaps the courage to escape. She dreams of one thing greater, one thing various, one thing that will challenge and utilize the aspiration that she feels clamoring within her, that cannot be satisfied by the men she meets, the retail outlets she buys her clothes at, the movies she dreams in, even the meals she eats.

january 13, 1950: Bad luck. I owe the government $122, which I gained’t pay. Margot says that I have to continue working for the comics trade for several months at least. Well, then, I shall attain that. At least I don’t have a hangover this morning. Ann came to glimpse me. She’s no longer going to Europe this summer. Ann is too slim, no longer as attractive as earlier than. My God, how many ladies attain I want?

january 19, 1950: My birthday. 29. Work—I assumed that the comics can be stimulating now. Unfortunately no longer. On the other hand, the exams will without doubt be. But the stories—! With the family tonight. Martinis, accurate French wine, presents. And a check over $20 for a macintosh. Couldn’t sleep tonight. I assume of Lyne—who tickles my curiosity, that’s all. And I was also pondering about my lifestyles. I must detached be writing now. I cannot possibly interpret these two months I plan to work on comics. I don’t fetch any youthful.

1/25/50: Education. How we must detached care for those years of formal education, especially in the college. To the reflective individual, it is far the last time he’ll take into account that the world made sense, the world promised to continue to make sense. It is the only time when all he is stuffed and involved about really concerns lifestyles. No wonder he is happy! No wonder each day is valiant adventure! No wonder he doesn’t want to transfer to mattress at evening!

1/26/50: Insanity. When one has glimpses of it, it is no longer in the earn of random irrational thoughts, nonetheless as the whole building of one’s information slipping. It is as if the crust of the whole world slips a bit, so that one easily imagines the North Pole at the South Pole one day.

february 1, 1950: Thus, I battle through lifestyles, subsisting on one drug or another.

2/2/50: I attain certainly develop tired and dismal by realism in literature—especially à la O’Hara, or even à la Steinbeck. I want a total original world. Painters are doing it. Why no longer writers? I attain no longer mean the pixie-care for fantasy of Robert Nathan. I mean a original world that is at as soon as no longer real, and at as soon as fascinating and full of message, that is art, too, as simply, timelessly, and unrealistically as the most attention-grabbing of the cave dwellers’ wall paintings.

february 9, 1950: Margot likes “Tantalus.” What more can I say? I am alive over again. I am in care for with Kathryn. I am an angel, a satan, a genius. I have to have nothing more to attain with Lyne, who’s no longer going to grant me her mattress, as simply and partially as I must detached take it. (Idiot, she is!) I care for Kathryn. My eyes are on the stars and beyond. My spirit wanders in the galaxies, and under the oceans. My breath is in the coming spring winds. My fertility is in the dry, living seeds as but unplanted. My meals is my care for itself, greater than any feast! The frame of my lifestyles is the frame of my work. Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

2/27/50: The whole pattern of my lifestyles has been and is: She has rejected me. The only factor I can say for myself at the age of twenty-nine, that vast age, is that I can face it. I can meet it head on. I can live to say the tale. I can even combat it. This may no longer knock me down again, mighty much less knock me out. In fact, I have learned to reject first. The important factor is to practice this. That my limping crutches are no longer trained to attain. Ah, how insignificant it all is! And how significant! To another care for, goodbye. Adieu. But no— God is probably no longer with you, no longer you. But fare thee successfully, all the same. God is aware of, I attach thee excessive.

march 28, 1950: Lyne suggested Marc all I need[ed] was a man to “make me feel care for a woman.” Her usual, refreshing tack, and to hell with Freud, and even past history. Pat’s no longer uncommon, Lyne says. She’s purchased this faulty. Spent evening with Marc. I am easier with him, nonetheless mighty rebellion left, I can feel. And if Kathryn writes me favorably? I envisage 2 months now with Marc, when I shall write my e-book, adopted by film money, Europe, and I hope Kathryn. If I had been to attain what I have confidence care for doing, it’d be Kathryn & Europe, and no longer these 2 months (so far as pleasure goes) with Marc even. Really feel care for a woman? He makes me feel care for a male pervert, a sailor in the Navy, a naughty cramped boy at faculty. He has a knack of no longer brilliant what I want.

4/2/50: A demonstrate after rereading all my notebooks—rather, glancing through all of them, for who can be able to read them? Impressed only by the range of hobby, the scary striving in all directions. Dismal by the slow demonstrate of despair, and the affinity of melancholy. Impressed very rarely by cleverness, by poetry. But generally, I assume, by an occasional accurate insight. A few usable issues in literature. But this I have to say: the sackcloth ashes age has passed. The adolescent aloneness (reluctance to be a part of with humanity) has passed. So melancholy now, on the lonely gray seas, is tempered with examine of shore. I have my traffic. More than that I have Existence, and know the correct way to repair to it at all occasions, under any stipulations. Issues which as soon as had been so bewildering and complicated, marriage and sex, for example, are no longer so now. They have been torn down a bit. Turn out to be more lovable, in fact. I have to fetch it all to waft. To let it dam up unless it is far an insufferable force, that has to be knocked out by liquor and dissipation to tire the physique. In short—as I have ivy-towerishly preached since adolescence—I have to learn to search out lifestyles in my work, living there, with its dramas, hardships, pleasures, and rewards. For I have but another prolonged road to transfer, earlier than I can obtain in another individual those compatible aspects, which is able to enable all this to waft. I have merely learned, so far, to avoid those individuals who would pause it.

april 3, 1950: Margot offered my e-book [“Strangers on a Train”] to Hitchcock for $6,000 + $1,500 for Hollywood work or no longer at time of filming—6-9 months therefore. Celebrated wildly with Lyne (broke date with Jeanne). Then called Ann at 3 a.m. & was stupidly inveigled into provocative her right here. Dismal, and I have confidence it’s the last time.

april 7, 1950: Hysterical, because Lyne made me wait an hour for her. I have a cold & fever, nonetheless that’s small excuse. The point is, the pattern resumes. The point is, I have a chance out of it now (a bit of money), and my imprisoned soul (in such bad shape that an A.S.P.C.A. would have guillotined me years ago, had they known, and God himself wants to be wishing, o profoundly wishing, he hadn’t made such a creature or let such a creature be made). How about the insect in the country brook, born to are living 30 seconds because of the natural enemy living in the proximity? I assume such a creature even may perhaps be considered happier. At any rate, drunk and sober tonight, I have confidence myself approaching the pause of phoniness. I have lived as a phony too prolonged. The accurate money in my pocket is crying out against it. What attain I assert? What is the assert of my soul? Kathryn. (End result of waiting for Lyne 45 minutes, plus 102 fever, plus awful dinner in a nightclub, + 3½ Martinis + a crying jag.)

april 17, 1950: I have borne heavier crosses than Kathryn. The letter came today (written Thursday April 13) and it is no longer accurate, I impart. She is extraordinarily stressed with all varieties of issues steady now. “I have to learn to walk alone,” she wrote, “earlier than I’ll be of any exhaust to myself or to anyone else.” And that she would take to glimpse me each time potential. What ever remains nonetheless traffic?

Marc purchased my negative letter today, too. Thus we both fetch it in the neck the same day.

april 20, 1950: [Port Jefferson] One anxiety after another. No gas. Parents left at noon, and I sat huddled by a fireplace the relaxation of the chill, rainy day, reading Greene’s “The Man Within.” How brilliant it is far. How care for Kathryn is Elizabeth. And Andrews care for me in my most cowardly, indecisive moments. (My cowardice, if any, lies in indecision alone.) I wept at the pause. Real tears, à la “David Copperfield” when I was a child, tears now because I am grown up, and so are these folks.

may 3, 1950: Ah, lifestyles can be beautiful. Chapter Nine performed. P. 111. And the next chapter planned at the second. Symbolism coming out delicate. I’ve my sloppy shirt-paper notes pinned beside my desk. I would meander all day without speaking to anyone right here, excluding perhaps for my mail.

may 4, 1950: That is such a painful contemporary I am doing. I am recording my hold start. My 8-page stint is generally agony. So far, generally, I have confidence happy at evening, then again, after the pages are performed.

5/4/50: To hell with the psychoanalyst’s explanations of Dostoyevsky’s gambling as sexual release. Dostoyevsky wanted to ruin himself, to ride his hold destruction. Purge of the soul! Dostoyevsky knew. Touch bottom earlier than you can thrust to the heights! Touch bottom, certainly, merely for the sake of brilliant bottom. I know all this so successfully, I have confidence it, I enact it, too.

may 5, 1950: A letter from Kathryn. A accurate one. Very accurate. She cherished my postcards, letters, congratulates me on the film. “You are neither an irrit[ation] or a distraction, nonetheless somebody whom I have confidence very end . . .” Excoriating letter from Marc, telling me I grasp to my disgusting, infantile diseases care for a cramped girl clings to a doll, ending “and let’s fetch married.”

5/6/50: This gained’t approach again (some issues I know, as I knew when I was twenty-three, and twenty-one, that the same sensations cannot be reduplicated because of the very age aspect), the sheeplike clouds on a pleasant evening in May, with the castle nearby, all black and dark and ample, where I shall work alone. And while my traffic are leaving in the car. It is all pleasant, I welcome it, and I am no longer afraid, and but care for goes with them, the human jabber, the contact of the flesh at all, and the possibility of one thing failing, some cramped factor, while the neighborhood goes out to fetch into the car, while one or all of us search for a place which sells newspapers after ten o’clock in the evening. No, this may no longer approach again, I standing in the dark driveway, lighting a cigarette to comfort me, while the automobile purrs away in the darkness. I staring to a various world and one which I care for greater. Living lifestyles I attain mistrust, nonetheless traffic and enthusiasts one has always. One has always, at least, the remembrance of how the enthusiasts had been, which certainly is no longer any various from the way the traffic are. For I attain undertaking into traffic the imaginative virtues, capabilities, which I undertaking into enthusiasts. Both are created. And a man does care for by an illusion.

5/17/50: Writing, of route, is a exchange for the lifestyles I cannot are living, am unable to are living. All lifestyles, to me, is a search for the balanced diet, which doesn’t exist. For me. Alas, I am twenty-nine, and I cannot stand more than five days of the lifestyles I have invented as the most ideal.

may 23, 1950: In a burst of confidence, I showed Ethel [Sturtevant, who was Highsmith’s creative-writing instructor at Barnard] chapter six, through which Carol appears, picks up Therese. “But right here’s care for!” Ethel exclaimed upon reading half of the first page. I admitted it was one thing care for that nonetheless in later discussion said T. had a schoolgirl crush, wanted back to the womb relationship, which Ethel said was borne out by the milk episode, nonetheless no longer in their assembly. “That’s a sexual awakening. Your genius ran away with you right here . . . Now this packs a wallop! That is an improbable piece of writing, Pat.”

5/28/50: I have steady heard a remarkable popular tune called “Let’s meander to church on Sunday (we’ll meet a buddy on the way)” [“Let’s Go to Church (Next Sunday Morning),” performed by Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely]. They will meet a buddy on the way. Subsequent Saturday evening, the young man will attach up a candy store and the girl will sleep with the man who will necessitate an abortion. These two will marry in much less than a year and accomplish five more Catholics. They will vote in the Catholic senators and boycott the most attention-grabbing artists and writers. They will provide sons for the next war and dedicate the next superwar mondial to the unknown soldier. They will pause folks from parking on their block and they will turn the stomachs of the relaxation of us when they appear in bathing suits on public beaches. They will probably be honored because they carry on the race. But they is probably no longer the folks by whom this century will probably be known.

may 31, 1950: Went to Wanamaker’s on luxurious lady of leisure browsing tour, & picked up maps from R.C.A. for Carol & Therese’s outing. I are living so fully with them now, I attain no longer even assume I can contemplate an amour.

6/6/50: Today I fell madly in care for with my Carol. What finer factor can there be nonetheless to fling the sharpest point of my strength into her creation day after day? And at evening, be exhausted. I want to exhaust all my time, all my evenings along with her. I want to be faithful to her. How can I be otherwise?

june 14, 1950: Carol has said no now. Oh God, how this story emerges from my hold bones! The tragedy, the tears, the infinite anxiety which is unavailing! I saw Marc for a beer. Very detached, unreal feeling tonight.

6/16/50: (One day earlier than ending my second contemporary.)

I have learned the trade of writing rather late. I am later detached learning the art of lifestyles. I came home and only happened to glimpse into Emily Dickinson, and was reminded afresh of that melancholy woman’s (and rich poet’s) fate of loving a man she saw so briefly—and of what she made of it, of what she gave the world and herself in beauty.

june 30, 1950: Today, feeling fairly unusual—care for a murderer in a contemporary, I boarded the train for Ridgewood, Contemporary Jersey. It shook me physically, and left me limp. Had she [Mrs. E. R. Senn] ever taken the same train? (I doubt it. She’d exhaust a car.) Was compelled to drink two ryes earlier than I took the 92 bus, the faulty one, toward Murray Ave. I asked the driver, and , to my dismay and anxiety, I heard the whole bus shouting “Murray Avenue?”—and giving me directions! Murray Avenue is a comparatively small lane going into thickly wooded land, on one facet of Godwin Avenue. There is a building on the left, a tall, tranquil, delicate home on the fair, where two cars stood, and ladies sat on the porch, talking. The number was 345—and I pushed on, seeing 39—on the next home, and pondering the numbers had been going the faulty way, for hers is 315. Moreover the road was so residential, there had been no sidewalks, and I was a conspicuous pick. I dared no longer meander any further up the avenue where the bushes grew closer and closer, and hers may perhaps have been the only remaining home (I caught no understand of it!) and where she steady may perhaps have been on the lawn or porch, and I would have betrayed myself with halting too abruptly. I walked on the reverse avenue, which was no longer even called Murray. (And felt safer because it was no longer hers.) And then as I came back to Godwin a pale aqua automobile was coming out of Murray Avenue, driven by a woman with dark glasses and short blond hair, alone, and I assume in a pale blue or aqua costume with short sleeves. May she have glanced at me? O time, thou art strange! My heart leapt, nonetheless no longer very excessive. She had hair that blew wider about her head. O Christ, what can I take into account from that approach across of two or three minutes a year and a half ago. Ridgewood is so far away! When shall I ever understand her in Contemporary York again? Shall I meander to a party one evening and obtain her there?

7/1/50: I am attracted to the murderer’s psychology, and also in the opposing planes, drives of accurate and inappropriate (building and destruction). How by a limited defection one can be made the other, and all the energy of a solid thoughts and physique be deflected to ruin or destruction! It is solely fascinating!

And to attain this primarily, again, as entertainment. How perhaps even care for, by having its head many occasions bruised, can develop into hate. For the moving factor yesterday I felt fairly end to ruin, too, as I went to glimpse the home of the woman who almost made me care for her when I saw her a second in December, 1948. Assassinate is a kind of making care for, a kind of possessing. (Is it no longer attention, for a second, from the object of one’s affections?) To arrest her , my hands up on her throat (which I must detached really take to kiss) as if I took a photograph, to make her in an instant cool and inflexible as a statue. And yesterday, folks stared at me curiously wherever I went, in the trains, the bus, on the sidewalk. I assumed, does it explain in my face? But I felt very calm and mild. And certainly, at a gesture from the woman I sought, I must detached have cringed and retreated.

7/21/50: The evening. I dream of earthquakes, the earth shaking and tipping out the window, while the home stands detached! One half awakens—more than half!—sits up in mattress with the dream clinging heavily to the edges of one’s brain, tipping the total brain care for a home itself, caught in an earthquake. I call out somebody’s name, because I don’t know what mattress I am in, or what home. I understand and hear myself doing it, brilliant I am both asleep and awake, and the limbo is injurious! I walk into the kitchen, pondering of getting some sizzling water and milk to drink, nonetheless my brain grasps even this easy idea care for the clumsy hands of a ancient monster. And the ancient monster is myself. I bite voraciously at a half-eaten reduce which I really attain no longer want, and put it down again. The earth shakes, and I doubt even gravity. I am any individual else, another creature I attain no longer know. (I know, although, that I lived a hundred million years ago.)

9/22/50: Of my e-book, in conclusion, two weeks earlier than ending the rewrite: right here’s no longer a narrate of the author sweating. The bookstores at this second happen to be glutted with tracts excusing and apologizing for homosexuality, depicting their very rugged male heroes writhing with heterosexual disgust as they attempt to throw off the scary coils that bind them, while in the last scene their beloved is without reason killed, lest any individual in the Bible Belt disfavor the fact they may continue living together in a cohabitation he has been hammered into countenancing, nonetheless which may bitter in his thoughts a week later. That is the story of a woman weak because of social weaknesses in her society, having nothing to attain with perversion. And a girl starved for a mother, in whom the artificial upbringing of an orphanage’s home, then again scientific, has no longer sufficed as parental care for. It is real a story that may perhaps have happened, and not using a axe to grind.

october 12, 1950: In aroused temper. Walked furiously up 2nd Avenue. And at 4 p.m. purchased the curse! First time since pause of May or June. Because I carried out my e-book today, too, perhaps. A good writing streak, with the pause through which Therese doesn’t meander back with Carol—nonetheless refuses her, and is alone at the last. Shall explain M.J. [Margot Johnson] both variations, and am clear she can take the “snatch” ending through which T. & C. meander back together. In the route of the evening purchased horribly blind drunk! Blackouts and all the pieces else. Together with spending all the money in my wallet. Lyne eventually poured me into a taxi at 3 a.m.

october 18, 1950: Walter [Marlowe, a friend and a writer] & I mentioned my e-book. I suggested him I did no longer thoughts shelving it for five years. He agreed, and said Sheehan suggested him—“I’m glad Pat tackles a topic care for this, because it’s one thing she really is aware of about, nonetheless for her career I assume it’s very bad.” To fetch a label. And I’ve already one as a thriller story author!

october 19, 1950: So that is the tall news—I shall attempt to persuade Margot J. that the e-book must detached no longer be printed now. And she can without doubt argue otherwise. Every person will. Nevertheless it is far my career, my lifestyles.

10/20/50: Now, now, now, to fall in care for with my e-book—this same day I have determined no longer to publish it, no longer for an indefinite length of time. But I shall continue to work on it for some weeks to approach, to shine and ideal it. I shall fall in care for with it now, in a various way from the way I cherished it earlier than. This care for is no longer-ending, disinterested, unselfish, impersonal even.

october 29, 1950: Margot has carried out my e-book. “I’m very pleased, Pat,” nonetheless no longer with too mighty enthusiasm, I assumed. “What attain you think of getting it printed under another name?” she asked. I don’t thoughts. Temporary, partial aid from shame. We must fetch the opinions of several “unbiased readers.”

december 21, 1950: What shall I write about next, I assume right here on this diary where I assume aloud. O more indisputably than ever this 29th year, this third year and I always change on the thirds, has viewed mighty metamorphosis. This may approach to me. My care for of lifestyles grows stronger every month. My powers of recuperation are wonderfully swift and elastic. I assume of writing a startler, a real shocker in the psychological thriller line. I may perhaps attain it adeptly. ♦

(Diary entries are dated in prolonged earn, pocket e-book entries numerically. A few entries right here had been written or partly written in French or German and had been translated by Sophie Duvernoy and Elisabeth Lauffer.)


Contemporary Yorker Favorites

Supply:
A Portrait of the Author as a Young Woman