Quotes from The Talented Mr. Ripley

Patricia Highsmith ·  273 pages

Rating: (40.9K votes)


“Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“He liked the fact that Venice had no cars. It made the city human. The streets were like veins, he thought, and the people were the blood, circulating everywhere.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“They were not friends. They didn't know each other. It struck Tom like a horrible truth, true for all time, true for the people he had known in the past and for those he would know in the future: each had stood and would stand before him, and he would know time and time again that he would never know them, and the worst was that there would always be the illusion, for a time, that he did know them, and that he and they were completely in harmony and alike. For an instant the wordless shock of his realization seemed more than he could bear.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn't that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn't take money, masses of money, it took a certain security.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“This is what I like, sitting at a table and watching people go by. It does something to your outlook on life. The Anglo-Saxons make a great mistake not staring at people from a sidewalk table.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley



“Tom laughed at the phrase "sexual deviation." Where was the sex? Where was the deviation? He looked at Freddie and said low and bitterly: "Freddie Miles, you're a victim of your own dirty mind.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“If you wanted to be cheerful, or melancholic, or wistful , or thoughtful, or courteous, you simply had to act those things with every gesture.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“He remembered that right after that, he had stolen a loaf of bread from a delicatessen counter and had taken it home and devoured it, feeling that the world owed a loaf of bread to him, and more.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“Mr Greenleaf was such a decent fellow himself, he took it for granted that everybody else in the world was decent, too. Tom had almost forgotten such people existed.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“I'm going to enjoy what I've got as long as it lasts.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley



“Forever, Tom thought. Maybe he’d never go back to the States. It was not so much Europe itself as the evenings he had spent alone, here and in Rome, that made him feel that way. Evenings by himself simply looking at maps, or lying around on sofas thumbing through guidebooks. Evenings looking at his clothes - his clothes and Dickie’s - and feeling Dickie’s rings between his palms, and running his fingers over the antelope suitcase he had bought at Gucci’s. He had polished the
suitcase with a special English leather dressing, not that it needed polishing
because he took such good care of it, but for its protection. He loved possessions,
not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man
self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality.
Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn’t that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn’t take
money, masses of money, it took a certain security. He had been on the road to it,
even with Marc Priminger. He had appreciated Marc’s possessions, and they were
what had attracted him to the house, but they were not his own, and it had been
impossible to make a beginning at acquiring anything of his own on forty dollars a week. It would have taken him the best years of his life, even if he had economised stringently, to buy the things he wanted. Dickie’s money had given
him only an added momentum on the road he had been travelling. The money
gave him the leisure to see Greece, to collect Etruscan pottery if he wanted (he had
recently read an interesting book on that subject by an American living in Rome),
to join art societies if he cared to and to donate to their work. It gave him the leisure, for instance, to read his Malraux tonight as late as he pleased, because he did not have to go to a job in the morning. He had just bought a two-volume edition of Malraux’s Psychologic de I’art which he was now reading, with great pleasure, in French with the aid of a dictionary.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“Tom envied him with a heartbreaking surge of envy and self-pity.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“Something always turned up. That was Tom's philosophy.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“I won't ever set the world on fire as a painter,' Dickie said, 'but I get a great deal of pleasure out of it.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“He remembered deciding then that the world was full of Simon Legrees, and that you had to be an animal, as tough as the gorillas who worked with him at the warehouse, or starve.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley



“Why should Dickie want to come back to subways and taxis and starched collars and a nine-to- five job? Or even a chauffeured car and vacations in Florida and Maine? It wasn't as much fun as sailing a boat in old clothes and being answerable to nobody for the way”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“Did the world always mete out just deserts?”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“He could feel the belligerence growing in Freddie Miles as surely as if his huge body were generating a heat that he could feel across the room.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


“An Italian woman came out of the house, wiping her hands on her apron.
'Mr Greenleaf?' Tom asked hopefully.
The woman gave him a long, smiling answer in Italian and pointed downward toward the sea. 'Jew,' she seemed to keep saying. 'Jew.”
― Patricia Highsmith, quote from The Talented Mr. Ripley


About the author

Patricia Highsmith
Born place: in Fort Worth, Texas, The United States
Born date January 19, 1921
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