The Dim-Post

February 24, 2016

Notes on Highsmith’s Price of Salt

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 10:24 am
  • I haven’t seen the movie yet.
  • There’s a great New Yorker article about the book here.
  • I liked it more than Strangers on a Train but less than most her later work. (I read The Cry of the Owl recently and recommend it).
  • It is very romantic. Also, the best bit is towards the end when Highsmith basically invents a new genre: The Gay Romance Thriller.
  • There’s a lot of sociology and psychology in this book but it’s all in the background. Lesser writers would be tempted to have their characters articulate it, and give impassioned speeches or have the villains proclaim their malevolence. But Highsmith’s characters are just ordinary people trapped by social constructs they can’t even see, let alone denounce.


  1. That last sentence appears to describe practically everyone who visits Dimpost.

    Apart from me.

    Comment by leeharmanclark — February 24, 2016 @ 5:36 pm

  2. The Price of Salt is the only thing I haven’t read by Highsmith… Oh, and “small g”.

    The Cry of the Owl is a masterpiece. There’s not a bad story even among the hither-till-then unpublished works in the collection Nothing that Meets the Eye. Have you read the Tremor of Forgery?

    I wish someone would publish her diaries. I’d love to read her thought process during the composition of the Riplaid in particular: she described Ripley as her alterego. She considered herself to have a masculine identity rather than a lesbian one, but did not consider herself male at all either.

    If you sadly run out of Highsmith as you seem to be doing let me recommend Bowles’ Let it Come Down, which could be a Highsmith novel.

    I’d love to know what you think of Brian Evenson if you have read him… There’s a lot being written about him of late. You should really write book reviews for the Spinoff or another one of the promising outlets that have risen recently that give me hope that some good and broad cultural writing and dialogue will have spaces to flower eccentricity sideways from the tiresome recannoning of cannon in our academies and garden show size comparisons of our reputation obsessed culturelites in the Mein Fiend Media.

    Oh and God how I wish someone would give Scott Hamilton a more prominent platform to deseminate his wild and free and deeply thought ruminations! That man is a treasure. He’s our Alphonso Lingis or Michael Taussig.

    Comment by Bill — February 25, 2016 @ 7:48 am

  3. @leeharmanclark if Danyl awarded prizes for comments I’d nominate you.

    Comment by Robert Singers — February 25, 2016 @ 4:42 pm

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