Monday, December 18, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Richard Matheson (1926 – 2013)


American author and screenwriter, typically of fantasy, horror, or science fiction.
Richard Matheson
This day father hit in the chain again before it had light. I have to try to pull it out again. He said I was bad to come upstairs. He said never do that again or he would beat me hard. That hurts.
Matheson quotes
I’m writing this note, though, because I want to save you if I can.
When I was first given the job of spying on you, I had no feelings about your life. Because I did have a husband, Robert. You killed him.
But now it’s different. I know now that you were just as much forced into your situation as we were forced into ours. We are infected. But you already know that. What you don’t understand yet is that we’re going to stay alive. We’ve found a way to do that and we’re going to set up society again slowly but surely. We’re going to do away with all those wretched creatures whom death has cheated. And, even though I pray otherwise, we may decide to kill you and those like you.
Matheson
A woman. Alive. In the daylight.
He stood, mouth partly open, gaping at the woman. She was young, he could see now as she came closer; probably in her twenties. She wore a wrinkled and dirty white dress. She was very tan, her hair was red. In the dead silence of the afternoon Neville thought he heard the crunch of her shoes in the long grass.
I’ve gone mad. The words presented themselves abruptly. He felt less shock at that possibility than he did at the notion that she was real. He had, in fact, been vaguely preparing himself for just such a delusion. It seemed feasible. The man who died of thirst saw mirages of lakes. Why shouldn’t a man who thirsted for companionship see a woman walking in the sun?




Matheson Richard quotes
I think we’re yearning for something beyond the every day. And I will tell you that I don’t believe in the “supernatural,” I believe in the “supernormal.” To me there is nothing that goes against nature. If it seems incomprehensible, it’s because we haven’t been able to understand it yet.
Matheson Richard
Somewhere In Time is the story of a love which transcends time, What Dreams May Come is the story of a love which transcends death. ... I feel that they represent the best writing I have done in the novel form.
Richard Matheson quotes
The world’s gone mad, he thought. The dead walk about and I think nothing of it.
The return of corpses has become trivial in import. How quickly one accepts the incredible if only one sees it.
Richard Matheson
It is my conviction that basic Reality is not all that perplexing. What seems difficult to assimilate are the manifold details of Reality, not its fundamental elements.
Matheson Richard quotes
I thought what father said. Oh god he said. And only eight.
Matheson
Matheson gets closer to his characters than anyone else in the field of fantasy today. ... You don’t read a Matheson story — you experience it.
Matheson Richard
To his complete astonishment, he later found himself offering up a stumbling prayer that the dog would be protected. It was a moment in which he felt a desperate need to believe in a God that shepherded his own creations. But, even praying, he felt a twinge of self-reproach, and knew he might start mocking his own prayer at any second.
Somehow, though, he managed to ignore his iconoclastic self and went on praying anyway. Because he wanted the dog, because he needed the dog.
Richard Matheson
His sex drive had diminished, had virtually disappeared. Salvation of the monk, he thought. The drive had to go sooner or later, or no normal man could dedicate himself to any life that excluded sex.
Now, happily, he felt almost nothing; perhaps a hardly discernible stirring far beneath the rocky strata of abstinence. He was content to leave it at that. Especially since there was no certainty that Ruth was the companion he had waited for. Or even the certainty that he could allow her to live beyond tomorrow. Cure her?
Curing was unlikely.




Richard Matheson quotes
My wife and child and I were on a camping trip and we stopped in Virginia City. In the Opera House, I saw a photograph of Maude Adams, the famous American actress. It was such a great photograph that creatively I fell in love with her. What if some guy did the same thing and could go back in time?
Richard Matheson
I think What Dreams May Come is the most important (read effective) book I’ve written. It has caused a number of readers to lose their fear of death — the finest tribute any writer could receive. ... Somewhere In Time is my favorite novel.
Matheson quotes
I hope people are reading my work in the future. I hope I have done more than frightened a couple of generations. I hope I’ve inspired a few people one way or another.
Actually, the highlight of my life — which, of course, had an enormous influence on my writing career — was meeting Ruth Woodson on the beach in Santa Monica in 1951, falling in love with her, marrying her, and creating with her a family of four children; two sons, two daughters. My love for them, and growth because of them, made my writing life what it was. It’s a process I advocate for any would-be writer.
Matheson Richard
It is a secret but I have pulled the chain out of the wall. I can see out the little window all I like.
Matheson Richard quotes
True, he thought, but no one ever got the chance to know it. Oh, they knew it was something, but it couldn’t be that — not that. That was imagination, that was superstition, there was no such thing as that.
And, before science had caught up with the legend, the legend had swallowed science and everything.
Richard Matheson
I am not so glad. All day it is cold in here. The chain comes slow out of the wall. And I have a bad anger with mother and father. I will show them. I will do what I did that once.
I will screech and laugh loud. I will run on the walls. Last I will hang head down by all my legs and laugh and drip green all over until they are sorry they didn't be nice to me.
If they try to beat me again I'll hurt them. I will.
Richard Matheson quotes
They were strange, the facts about them: their staying inside by day, their avoidance of garlic, their death by stake, their reputed fear of crosses, their supposed dread of mirrors.
Take that last, now. According to legend, they were invisible in mirrors, but he knew that was untrue. As untrue as the belief that they transformed themselves into bats. That was a superstition that logic, plus observation had easily disposed of. ‘It was equally foolish to believe that they could transform themselves into wolves. Without a doubt there were vampire dogs; he had seen and heard them outside his house at night. But they were only dogs.
Richard Matheson
Robert Neville looked out over the new people of the earth. He knew he did not belong to them; he knew that, like the vampires, he was anathema and black terror to be destroyed. And, abruptly, the concept came, amusing to him even in his pain. ... Full circle. A new terror born in death, a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever.
I am legend.
Matheson Richard
He has many … virtues, notably an unusual agility in trick prose and trick construction and a too-little-recognized (or exercised) skill on offtrail humor; but his great strength is his power to take a reader inside a character or a situation.


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