One of my favorite old movies is Laura, starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb and Vincent Price. I can’t help watch it whenever it happens to be on television. So I decided to look it up on imdb.com and found that it was based on a pulp novel written by a woman. So, I tracked down a used copy on Amazon and also found that the author Vera Caspary had an autobiography.
Here are the first pararaphs to the two books I am currently reading:
Laura by Vera Caspary
The city that Sunday morning was quiet. Those millions of New Yorkers who, by need or preference, remain in town over a summer week-end had been crushed spiritless by humidity. Over the island hung a fog that smelled and felt like water in which too many soda-water glasses have been washed. Sitting at my desk, pen in hand, I treasured the sense that, among those millions, only I, Waldo Lydecker, was up and doing. The day just past, devoted to shock and misery, had stripped me of sorrow. Now I had gathered strength for the writing of Laura’s epitaph. My grief at her sudden and violent death found consolation in the thought that my friend, had she lived to a ripe old age, would have passed into oblivion, whereas the violence of her passing and the genius of her admirer gave her a fair chance at immortality.
The Secrets of Grown-Ups, the autobiography of Vera Caspary
A specter haunts my ego. For most of my life I have tried to escape this ghoul, bury her in a respectable family plot, lock her in a closet smelling of old women’s dresses. Tenancious and spiteful, she rises out of memory, laughing, mocking me with memories of failed dreams. Like everyone else in this contradictory world, I have two definite and well-developed sides, one that I show off and one I am afraid to see plain. So much of my life has been given to the exploitation of the exhibited side that the hidden self, the specter, had to be hunted down, smoked out of secret cells, stripped of disguise.