Listen: Aired On Friday, December 06, 2 AM, On Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen.
"Our next American icon plus there are so many books kind of obsessed with fragrance and scent. So how about our fragrance. Obsessed with the book as writers always grappling with. Is this dead in pointless. A novelist and perfume recreates sent for US based on Toni. Morrison's masterpiece beloved of it so to me. This is like a heightened form fan fiction. That's ahead on studio three sixty right after this Video three sixty. I'm currently and I am sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial I level of Thomas Thomas. Jefferson's Vegetables Dr. I'd like to have the chicken very well. Done editing all about timing. I tried to get a little bit away from the actual subject. Let's get sick of voice. Tate sixty with good Anderson Nineteen Fifty Five Patricia highsmith published the talented. Did Mr Ripley the first in her series of novels that follow Tom Ripley Charlatan. And a forger and a guy who kills his way into a life of luxury gory. So what did you actually do in New York piano places. I totally well. That's wonderful. Have you told me a lot of jobs. Few places jobs mysterious Mister Ripley. That's a scene from the film. The talented Mr Ripley starring Matt Damon as Ripley and Jude Law. It's a good movie even if it doesn't quite do the book justice. The book is quite a bit darker and as novels do has deliberately to spend lots more time on Ripley's thoughts his interior. Life Ripley is really one of literature's Great Anti Heroes kind of the prototype for Tony. Soprano and Walter White and stringer bell. He represents the dark side of the American dream of ambition untempered by morality or guilty feelings of self invention taken to extremes Patricia. Highsmith the author thought of Ripley as her alter ego the novels goals enduring and unsettling power is in how it really forces the reader to identify with this killer for the latest in our American icon icon series. The New York Times as PARL SAGO traces. The back story of this masterpiece and of its tormented brilliant creator. You'd be afraid to kill you. Get caught and what what took you up the motive in the Early Nineteen Fifties Patricia highsmith young brilliant on inspiring destructive was fresh off the success of her first book strangers on a train me accidentally like you and me no connection between them at all never saw each other before each one has somebody that he'd like to get rid of so they swap murders. There's Alfred Hitchcock loved. The novel laid it into one of his great phones. Hitchcock in high school shared a fascination with stories about doubles and mistaken identities characters driven driven by desire and criminality characters confused by the difference between the two his films her novels they stirred distinctive feeling. There's something stylized in the crimes they stage. It's not as if she were a maniac a raving things. She just goes a little mad sometimes. Something personal something private. What draws you to those it was characters? Then what is it about that you want to get to the bottom of I mean is it why they kill. Why violent we? Yes yes it's always that and maybe there's some kind of violins and myself. I don't know some people say so. That highsmith on British television her most famous most violent creation came to her the year after strangers on a train. She was visiting Italy. Positano on the Mafi coast at six. Am One one morning. She stood on the hotel balcony. A man was crossing the beach below from right to left a solitary man. She wrote journals in shorts and sandals bills a towel slung over his shoulder. There was something strange about him. Something easy had he quarrelled with someone she wondered what was on his mind soon. Never see him again but from distant glimpse she found the basis. She was later to save her most unforgettable character. Thomas Phelps Ripley. Tom Ripley secretive. It is talented Mister Ripley. Everybody should have one talent. What's yours forging signatures telling lies impersonating practically anybody buddy three? Nobody should have more than one talent. That's a scene from the film. The talented Mr Ripley. The first in highsmith series of five books before the book is over. Ripley will add a few more talents to his list including murder and as the Ripley series proceeds over the years and decades High Smith's own talents and obsessions come into relief. She has her own talent for occupying her characters but what she really occupying them or was it the other way around Patricia Russia highsmith always wrote her best most brutal books when unhappy and love usually with a beautiful demanding woman preferably blonde preferably married when she wrote the talented island. Mister Ripley in six months in nineteen fifty four. She was entangled in a number of messy affairs. She took herself to Lenox Massachusetts stockbridge. Actually and so perfect rented a cottage from the local funeral director. where else would she go? Don't Shankar is the author of the biography. The talented Messiah Smith. The Minute Tom Ripley came to her and she said it was the easiest book she ever wrote. In fact you know what. Let me tell you what she said about Tom. This is a direct quote from his High Smith. No Book was easier for me to write and I often had the feeling that Ripley. He was writing it and I was merely typing highsmith shared Ripley's talent from inequality sometimes if the song and the radio was one that Tom liked he merely danced by himself but he danced as Dickie would have with the girl every moment to. Tom Was a pleasure alone in his room or walking the streets of Rome when he combined hind sight seeing with looking for an apartment it was impossible ever to be lonely or bored. He thought so long as he was Dickie Greenleaf. She began sitting on the edge of her chair because she felt he was the kind of boy who would sit on the edge of his chair. She prepared pared for the way an actor prepares for row. She prepared for it's physically mentally and this is what she wrote what I predicted. I would once do. Oh I am doing already in this very book that is showing the unequivocal triumph of evil. Over good and rejoicing coming in and I shall make my readers rejoice in it too when we first meet Tom Ripley. He's a small time crook living in a cold water flat in Nineteen Fifties New York. He's swindles money from the old and the poor. He does it for fun I think. He's practicing his practicing his art. He's learning to be Tom Ripley as he gradually federally scales the ladder of real criminal achievement to bludgeoning people to death with an or and an ashtray. He's he's learning as he goes. He's a chance meeting with a shipping magnate. whose son and heir has run off to Italy? Could you ever conceive of going to Italy. Tom Persuade lead my son to come home. I pay you a thousand dollars. I have always wanted to go to Europe Sir but good now you can go for a reason so he goes to the wealthy. If he coast the same place Height Smith had seen that young man walking across the beach radiating unease. He meets sticky and falls in love with dickey with his life. His clothes his world dickey is that kind of helplessly. Beautiful destructive boy. You Fall in love with before you realize you shouldn't that's the novelist Alexander Chee and then you just end up in in this kind of awful complicity with him. Dickie said absolutely nothing on the train under pretense of being sleepy. He folded his arms and closed closed his eyes. Tom Sat opposite him staring at his bony arrogant handsome face and his hands with the green ring and the gold signet signet ring. It crossed Tom's mind to steal the green ring when he left. It would be easy. Dickie took it off when he swam. Sometimes he took Qaddafi even when he showered at the House. He would do it the very last day Tom. Tom Stared at dickey's closed. Eyelids a crazy emotion of heat beat of affection of impatience and frustration with swelling in him hampering his breathing. Tom's frustrated love cuddles. It turns to humiliation it. Turns to a desire to punish it said Highsmith's novels when you expect characters to kiss they kill. He wanted to kill Dickie. It was not the first time he had thought of it before once twice or three times it had been an impulse caused by anger anger or disappointment an impulse that vanished immediately and left him with a feeling of shame. Now he thought about it for an entire minute in two minutes. No sooner. Does the idea occurred to him. Then he begins to consider how the water but Dicky was such a good swimmer. Emmer the cliffs. It would be easy to push dickey off some cliff when they took a walk but he imagined dickey grabbing him and pulling him off with him and he tensed in his seat until his thighs. Eight in his nails cut read into his thumbs."