An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





It's frightening how easy it is to commit murder in America. Just a drink too much. I can see myself doing it. In England, one feels all the social restraints holding one back. But here, anything can happen.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


After all, every murderer when he kills runs the risk of the most dreadful of deaths, whereas those who kill him risk nothing except promotion.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


The boys with their feet on the desks know that the easiest murder case in the world to break is the one somebody tried to get very cute with; the one that really bothers them is the murder somebody only thought of two minutes before he pulled it off.


Raymond Chandler (1888-1959, American author)


Murders are exciting and lift people into a heart-beating awe as religion is supposed to do, after seeing one in the street young couples will go back to bed and make love, people will cross themselves and thank God for the gift of their stuporous lives, old folks will talk to each other over cups of hot water with lemon because murders are enlivened sermons to be analyzed and considered and relished, they speak to the timid of the dangers of rebellion, murders are perceived as momentary descents of God and so provide joy and hope and righteous satisfaction to parishioners, who will talk about them for years afterward to anyone who will listen.


E. L. Doctorow (1931-, American novelist)


Murder in the murderer is no such ruinous thought as poets and romancers will have it; it does not unsettle him, or fright him from his ordinary notice of trifles; it is an act quite easy to be contemplated.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


I love the old way best, the simple way of poison, where we too are strong as men.


Euripides (BC 480-406, Greek tragic poet)


A murderer is regarded by the conventional world as something almost monstrous, but a murderer to himself is only an ordinary man. It is only if the murderer is a good man that he can be regarded as monstrous.


Graham Greene (1904-1991, British novelist)


Every murder turns on a bright hot light, and a lot of people have to walk out of the shadows.


Mark Hellinger


It takes two to make a murder. There are born victims, born to have their throats cut, as the cut-throats are born to be hanged.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, the midnight murderer bursts the faithless bar; invades the sacred hour of silent rest and leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Under the rules of a society that cannot distinguish between profit and profiteering, between money defined as necessity and money defined as luxury, murder is occasionally obligatory and always permissible.


Lewis H. Lapham (1935-, American essayist, editor)


It is a question whether, when we break a murderer on the wheel, we do not fall into the error a child makes when it hits the chair it has bumped into.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


Murder is born of love, and love attains the greatest intensity in murder.


Octave Mirbeau (1850-1918, French playwright)


You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.


Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977, Russian-born American novelist, poet)


If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.


Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859, British author)


Murder is a horror, but an often necessary horror, never criminal, which it is essential to tolerate in a republican State. Is it or is it not a crime? If it is not, why make laws for its punishment? And if it is, by what barbarous logic do you, to punish it, duplicate it by another crime?


Marquis De Sade (1740-1814, French author)


Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


When once a certain class of people has been placed by the temporal and spiritual authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than murder.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


Murder is always a mistake. One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


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