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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Thursday Thoughts: 3

Mark My word, if and when these preachers get control of the (Republican) party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.
‘Mr Conservative’, Republican Senator and Presidential Nominee, Barry Goldwater.


I used to say when I taught playwriting that when you bore somebody, you’re wasting their time and, in fact, their life . . . even with a short run, you’ve wasted so much human life, it’s like murdering a toddler.
Tony Kushner.


Occasionally, a stranger would come in the house uninvited and catch Dashiell Hammett off guard. He might be reading in an easy chair. Miss Hellman would introduce him, and he would elegantly rise and shake hands. Like many a famous writer who detests being disturbed in his private self, a million miles from any social confrontation, he had learned to scare off the intruder with his smile. Here he was luckier than most, for rather than looking pained and fraudulent, rather than a predictable Sam Spade/Humphrey Bogart hard-guy leer, the smile Dashiell Hammett produced on his clear-eyed, lean, aristocratic face was so nearly beatific that it disarmed the intruder long enough for Dashiell Hammett, with no more than a how-do-you-do, to vanish from the room. The armchair or the book gave his only evidence. Even the invited dinner guest coming punctually into the room would know the same ectoplasmic presence, when Miss Hellman, the laughter mingled in her greeting, would immediately explain what Dash had said—what his joking exit line had been on, it seemed, the instant of your entrance. He was elusive but never aloof.
The Paris Review.


3 Responses to “Thursday Thoughts: 3”

  1. Shelley says:

    Dash Hammett. The patron saint of writers?

  2. paisley says:

    ‘Mark my word…..’ They look, sound and act crazy on the gogglebox

  3. paisley says:

    Oh dear, I got trigger happy and my finger slipped and there it was – published! I wanted to type ‘Mark my word…’ they look, sound and act crazy on the gogglebox, are they really that bad in the flesh? I’m just a poor little third worlder who doesn’t really know for sure.