“I can bear hunger and cold, but not others”

As in his novels, Patricia Highsmith ended up wrapped in a halo of mystery. As she achieved her success, the writer became more distant and sullen. Only the periodic publication of her books gave readers back the echo of her name. Its characters, plots and solid arguments alluded to an intellect of extreme complexity, assailed by disturbing feelings stemming from his reflection on guilt, responsibility, death, passion, sexuality or his own identity. Ideas that populate and dot his work.

A few weeks before her death occurred, the novelist revealed to her editors that in her residence in Switzerland, known as the bunker for its meditated austerity and where she spent the last fifteen years of her life, she left a bulky legacy: an unexpected collection of eighteen diaries and thirty-eight notebooks. An eloquent testimony of almost eight thousand pages written in fluent English interspersed with expressions, phrases or original words from French, Spanish or German. “It was a surprising confession for us,” says Anna Von Planta, the writer’s editor at the time. She always separated the person from the character, and nothing was known about the person… After that, we went for this formidable legacy and started searching her house, but we couldn’t find it. We felt like real detectives trying to find out where she was. When we were on the verge of despair, I wondered where, if it were her, I would hide my most precious treasure. I told myself that she would be in a cool place, within reach and inconspicuous in daylight. With that idea I I went to the clothes closet and, right behind some sheets, these 56 volumes appeared, along with a ton of stories from young women.


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