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Rex Stout (1886 – 1975)


American author of detective fiction best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe.
Rex Stout
Stout says to us, "Here are two friends. Here are two people sharing their lives. As you wish for friendship, share in theirs. As you seek companionship, share in theirs. As you search for love, share in theirs." Rex Stout invites us into the family and offers warmth and security and certainty. He affirms what we all seek on some primal level. If such disparate individuals as Wolfe and Goodwin can share friendship and love and caring and life, can not we? That’s the strength here. That’s the message and the feel-good inherent in the voice and character that Rex Stout has given to Archie Goodwin. In this cold world, it is a fire on which we may warm our hands.
Stout quotes
Wolfe talks in a way that no human being on the face of the earth has ever spoken, with the possible exception of Rex Stout after he had a gin and tonic.
Stout
My God you love to get them, and good Lord you hate to answer them.




Stout Rex quotes
I really mean what I say. A Dickens character to me is a theatrical projection of a character. Not that it isn't real. It's real, but in that removed sense. But Sherlock Holmes is simply there. I would be astonished if I went to 221? B Baker Street and didn't find him.
Stout Rex
There are two kinds of characters in all fiction, the born and the synthetic. If the writer has to ask himself questions — is he tall, is he short? — he had better quit.
Rex Stout quotes
This fellow is the best of them all.
Rex Stout
Rex is a perfect writer — economical, rapid, free of cliché. Epigrammatic, intelligent, charming. What else? That's enough.
Stout Rex quotes
I'm not a collector. I don't keep letters, or books, or souvenirs. But I do keep one copy of each translation of my books into a foreign language. Have you ever seen a murder story printed in Singhalese? Wow!
Stout
One trouble with living beyond your deserved number of years is that there's always some reason to live another year. And I'd like to live another year so that Nixon won't be President. If he's re-elected I'll have to live another four years.
Stout Rex
Bosh. I find a rival — but no, I won't flatter myself that Tecumseh Fox would consider himself a rival of Dol Bonner — I find an eminent detective in your apartment, and that alone is enough, without adding that he is concealed in your bedroom while I am discussing my business with you...
Rex Stout
There isn't a generation gap between you and me — there's two.




Rex Stout quotes
If he had done nothing more than to create Archie Goodwin, Rex Stout would deserve the gratitude of whatever assessors watch over the prosperity of American literature.
Rex Stout
What do I believe in? Belief means faith, and there's only one damn thing in the world I have any faith in. That's the idea of American democracy, because it seems to me so obvious that that's the only sensible way to run human affairs.
Stout quotes
It is impossible for any Sherlock Holmes story not to have at least one marvelous scene.
Stout Rex
Any man who undertakes to write a play is either a damn fool or a hero, I don't know which. When you write a book, you pull it out of the typewriter and that's that. When you write a play you've got to go on with the producer and the director and the actors and the rehearsals and the ...
Stout Rex quotes
A person who does not read cannot think. He may have good mental processes, but he has nothing to think about. You can feel for people or natural phenomena and react to them, but they are not ideas. You cannot think about them.
Rex Stout
When Stout is on top of his game, which is most of the time, his diabolically clever plotting and his storytelling ability exceed that of any other mystery writer you can name, including Agatha Christie, who invented her own eccentric genius detective, Hercule Poirot.
Rex Stout quotes
Rex Stout's greater innovation lay in his attention to the realities of the larger world. Nero Wolfe might not know the streets of his city very well, but he knew his nation. There are, for examples, reference in Fer-de-Lance to national issues such as Prohibition, and the Depression, and the Lindbergh baby. A few others writers of Golden Age detective stories were inserting a few topical references of this sort, but none to the degree Stout did. The Wolfe series is probably the only major detective story series before the 1970s to make national affairs an essential part of the detective's world, and few of the post-1970 series are as explicit about historical events and figures. ... Stout does not feel obligated to invent a surrogate senator from a vaguely Midwestern state; Nero Wolfe despises Joseph R. McCarthy, and he says so. Archie may drive a Heron, but when it comes to J. Edgar Hoover or Richard M. Nixon, he names names.
Rex Stout
I think the detective story is by far the best upholder of the democratic doctrine in literature. I mean, there couldn't have been detective stories until there were democracies, because the very foundation of the detective story is the thesis that if you're guilty you'll get it in the neck and if you're innocent you can't possibly be harmed. No matter who you are. There was no such conception of justice until after 1830. There was no such thing as a policeman or a detective in the world before 1830, because the modern conception of the policeman and detective, namely, a man whose only function is to find out who did it and then get the evidence that will punish him, did not exist. ... In Paris before the year 1800 — read the Dumas stories — there were gangs of people whose business was to go out and punish wrongdoers. But why? Because they had hurt De Marillac or Richelieu or the Duke or some Huguenot noble, not just because they had harmed society. It is only the modern policeman that is out to protect society.
Stout Rex
I don't approve of open fires. You can't think, or talk or even make love in front of a fireplace. All you can do is stare at it.


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