To say goodbye is to die a little.
A good title is the title of a successful book.
At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.
Television's perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles in the primeval ooze. You don't have to concentrate. You don't have to react. You don't have to remember. You don't miss your brain because you don't need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the man's nirvana. And if some poor nasty minded person comes along and says you look like a fly on a can of garbage, pay him no mind. He probably hasn't got the price of a television set.
There are two kinds of truth; The truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science and the second is art.
Until you guys own your own souls you don't own mine. Until you guys can be trusted every time and always, in all times and conditions, to seek the truth out and find it and let the chips fall where they may—until that time comes, I have the right to listen to my conscience, and protect my client the best way I can. Until I'm sure you won't do him more harm than you'll do the truth good. Or until I'm hauled before somebody that can make me talk.
Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.
Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.
In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.
A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.
Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all of the tricks and has nothing to say.
The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the single most valuable investment a writer can make with his time.
Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.
I do a great deal of research - particularly in the apartments of tall blondes.
Television is just one more facet of that considerable segment of our society that never had any standard but the soft buck.
The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence.
It is pretty obvious that the debasement of the human mind caused by a constant flow of fraudulent advertising is no trivial thing. There is more than one way to conquer a country.
The creative artist seems to be almost the only kind of man that you could never meet on neutral ground. You can only meet him as an artist. He sees nothing objectively because his own ego is always in the foreground of every picture.
A really good detective never gets married.