“An imaginative writer is very free-wheeling; she has to forget about her own personal morals, especially if she is writing about criminals. She has to feel anything is possible. But I don’t for this reason understand why an artist should have any criminal tendencies. The artist may simply have an ability to understand … I would much rather be an entertainer than a moralizer.”
“I get impatient with a certain hidebound morality. Some of the things one hears in church. Nobody can practice them and it is even sick to try … Murder, to me, is a mysterious thing. I feel I do not understand it really. I try to imagine it, of course, but I think it is the worst crime. That is why I write so much about it; I am interested in guilt.”
In thinking about a background for this, and wanting something that would match the Ripley novel, I decided to get inspired by Saul Bass, who has done work for Hitchcock, and as Hitch directed an adaptation of Highsmith’s first novel, there is a connection!
I’ve always loved that 1950s Bass style of long irregular graphic white lines breaking up a single image into shards. It was not hard to refresh my memory with the book I have on his long career.