Wednesday, July 25, 2018

John D. MacDonald

Yesterday was an anniversary of the birth of John D. MacDonald in 1916. I haven't read him recently but there was a time when I sought out his books — especially the Travis McGee stories, each with a title referencing a color, e.g. Dress Her in Indigo. CrimeReads provides "The Wit and Wisdom of John D. MacDonald," some of the quotations in his own voice, others from characters in the stories. Each of these is from one of the books:
“Being an adult means accepting those situations where no action is possible.”

“Education is something which should be apart from the necessities of earning a living, not a tool therefor. It needs contemplation, fallow periods, the measured and guided study of the history of man’s reiteration of the most agonizing question of all: Why?”

“Every day, no matter how you fight it, you learn a little more about yourself, and all most of it does is teach humility.”

“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will. Integrity is not a search for the rewards of integrity. Maybe all you ever get for it is the largest kick in the ass the world can provide. It is not supposed to be a productive asset. Crime pays a lot better. I can bend my own rules way, way over, but there is a place where I finally stop bending them. I can recognize the feeling. I’ve been there a lot of times.”