Richard Matheson quotes

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Richard Matheson

Birthdate: 20. February 1926
Date of death: 23. June 2013

Richard Burton Matheson was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 science fiction horror vampire novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, as well as the movie Somewhere In Time for which Matheson wrote the screenplay, based on his novel Bid Time Return. Matheson also wrote 16 television episodes of The Twilight Zone for Rod Serling, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Steel".

He adapted his 1971 short story "Duel" as a screenplay directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television film of the same name that year.

Six more of his novels or short stories have been adapted as major motion pictures — The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return , A Stir of Echoes and Button, Button. Lesser movies based on his work include two from his early noir novels — Cold Sweat, based on his novel Riding the Nightmare, and Les seins de glace , based on his novel Someone is Bleeding.

Works

I Am Legend
I Am Legend
Richard Matheson
What Dreams May Come
What Dreams May Come
Richard Matheson
Duel
Duel
Richard Matheson
A Stir of Echoes
A Stir of Echoes
Richard Matheson

Quotes Richard Matheson

„They were exciting times that bubbled over with energy for all those involved.“

—  Richard Matheson

The New York Times interview (1994)
Context: I've been very fortunate throughout my career. And I've been lucky enough to have worked with some great and talented people, like Price and Serling. I was just a part of the whole phenomenon coming together. They were exciting times that bubbled over with energy for all those involved.

„Our world is in profound danger. Mankind must establish a set of positive values with which to secure its own survival.“

—  Richard Matheson

Introduction to The Path (1999), based on ideas presented in Thinking and Destiny (1946) by Harold W. Percival, p. 12
Context: Our world is in profound danger. Mankind must establish a set of positive values with which to secure its own survival.
This quest for enlightenment must begin now.
It is essential that all men and women become aware of what they are, why they are here on Earth and what they must do to preserve civilization before it is too late.

„X — This day when it had light mother called me a retch.“

—  Richard Matheson

Born of Man and Woman (1950)
Context: X — This day when it had light mother called me a retch. You retch she said. I saw in her eyes the anger. I wonder what it is a retch.

„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.“

—  Richard Matheson

"Ed Gorman Calling: We Talk to Richard Matheson" http://www.mysteryfile.com/Matheson/Interview.html (2004)
Context: 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.

„And, before science had caught up with the legend, the legend had swallowed science and everything.“

—  Richard Matheson, book I Am Legend

Source: I Am Legend (1954), Ch. 3
Context: 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.

„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, book I Am Legend

Source: I Am Legend (1954), Ch. 2
Context: 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.

„I've been very fortunate throughout my career.“

—  Richard Matheson

The New York Times interview (1994)
Context: I've been very fortunate throughout my career. And I've been lucky enough to have worked with some great and talented people, like Price and Serling. I was just a part of the whole phenomenon coming together. They were exciting times that bubbled over with energy for all those involved.

„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.“

—  Richard Matheson, book I Am Legend

Source: I Am Legend (1954), Ch. 2
Context: 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.

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„He had doubted too long. His concept of the society had become ironbound. It was almost impossible for him to believe that there were others like him. And, after the first shock had diminished, all the dogma of his long years alone had asserted itself.“

—  Richard Matheson, book I Am Legend

Source: I Am Legend (1954), Ch. 16
Context: All these years, he thought, dreaming about a companion. Now I meet one and the first thing I do is distrust her, treat her crudely and impatiently.
And yet there was really nothing else he could do. He had accepted too long the proposition that he was the only normal person left. It didn’t matter that she looked normal. He’d seen too many of them lying in their coma that looked as healthy as she. They weren’t, though, and he knew it. The simple fact that she had been walking in the sunlight wasn’t enough to tip the scales on the side of trusting acceptance. He had doubted too long. His concept of the society had become ironbound. It was almost impossible for him to believe that there were others like him. And, after the first shock had diminished, all the dogma of his long years alone had asserted itself.

„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.“

—  Richard Matheson, book I Am Legend

Source: I Am Legend (1954), Ch. 21
Context: 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.

„It's only when we're alive and in this world that we have the chance to progress. From the state of the world today, we haven't made much progress.“

—  Richard Matheson

The New York Times interview (1994)
Context: To me, I don't even think of life after death. To me, life after death and reincarnation are just slices of the pie. Life is a huge wheel and it goes around and around, and life after death is just a segment of that. It comes down to spiritual growth. I think that we keep coming back until we learn what we need to learn, until we get it right.
I think we've all lived hundreds, maybe thousands of times. That which you think becomes your world. It's only when we're alive and in this world that we have the chance to progress. From the state of the world today, we haven't made much progress.

„Something black and of the night had come crawling out of the Middle Ages. Something with no framework or credulity, something that had been consigned, fact and figure, to the pages of imaginative literature.“

—  Richard Matheson, book I Am Legend

Source: I Am Legend (1954), Ch. 3
Context: Something black and of the night had come crawling out of the Middle Ages. Something with no framework or credulity, something that had been consigned, fact and figure, to the pages of imaginative literature. Vampires were passé; Summers’ idylls or Stoker’s melodramatics or a brief inclusion in the Britannica or grist for the pulp writer’s mill or raw material for the B-film factories. A tenuous legend passed from century to century.
Well, it was true.

„It is essential that all men and women become aware of what they are, why they are here on Earth and what they must do to preserve civilization before it is too late.“

—  Richard Matheson

Introduction to The Path (1999), based on ideas presented in Thinking and Destiny (1946) by Harold W. Percival, p. 12
Context: Our world is in profound danger. Mankind must establish a set of positive values with which to secure its own survival.
This quest for enlightenment must begin now.
It is essential that all men and women become aware of what they are, why they are here on Earth and what they must do to preserve civilization before it is too late.

„Cure her?
Curing was unlikely.“

—  Richard Matheson, book I Am Legend

Source: I Am Legend (1954), Ch. 17
Context: 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.

„You never know, he thought. You just never know. You drift along, year after year, presuming certain values to be fixed; like being able to drive on a public thoroughfare without somebody trying to murder you.“

—  Richard Matheson, book Duel

"Duel" (1971), a short story, which he later adapted into a screenplay for Duel (1971), Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film.
Context: You never know, he thought. You just never know. You drift along, year after year, presuming certain values to be fixed; like being able to drive on a public thoroughfare without somebody trying to murder you. You came to depend on that sort of thing. Then something occurs and all bets are off. One shocking incident and all the years of logic and acceptance are displaced and, suddenly, the jungle is in front of you again. Man, part animal, part angel. Where had he come across that phrase? He shivered.
It was entirely an animal in that truck out there.

„All through the years, I've had many interests.“

—  Richard Matheson

The New York Times interview (1994)
Context: All through the years, I've had many interests. I always wanted to write a swashbuckler; I still do. I love Westerns. I wrote a western called "Journal of the Gun Years," which won the Golden Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. It had been written some time ago and rejected by every publisher, perhaps because I had been cast in the science fiction mold. I finished writing a combination western and horror story indigenous to the period. And horror takes many forms: Indians had their own superstitions based on things that they didn't understand. In a way, I like to be confusing by combining genres.
I've always been fascinated by parapsychology, and I think that we've all lived before. In "The Path" I've explored that and a few other age-old questions like why are we here and what's our purpose in life.

„What seems difficult to assimilate are the manifold details of Reality, not its fundamental elements.“

—  Richard Matheson

Introduction to The Path (1999), based on ideas presented in Thinking and Destiny (1946) by Harold W. Percival, p. 11
Context: 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.

„I don’t believe in the “supernatural,” I believe in the “supernormal.”“

—  Richard Matheson

When asked, "In your estimation, what does the supernatural genre tell us about ourselves as human beings?" in "He Is Legend" interview at <!-- OBSOLETE DEAD LINK --> Cinemaspy (2007); also quoted in [http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/24/195317782/author-richard-matheson-i-am-legend-writer-dies-at-87 "Author Richard Matheson, 'I Am Legend' Writer, Dies At 87" at NPR (26 June 2013) http://www.cinemaspy.com/spotlight/interviews/
Context: 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.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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