I suspect Highsmith biographer Joan M. Schenkar might disagree; she took a more personal approach in her talk Saturday at #Noircon2010. Schenkar stressed the importance of forgery in Highsmith's fictional world, for example, particularly in the person of Tom Ripley, protagonist of The Talented Mister Ripley plus four additional novels and a number of film adaptations.
The Tremor of Forgery, Highsmith tells us, is the slight shake that even the most expert forger produces at the beginning and the end of his false signatures. A novel whose title conceit undermines a theme so important in the writer's work? Sounds pretty personal to me.
Even better: The novel's murder weapon — if indeed the victim has been killed — is a typewriter and the protagonist/killer a writer. The machine, Schenkar says, is identical to Highsmith's own, a typewriter the author treasured. (The apparent murder renders the machine inoperable, an especially suggestive state of affairs.)
(To which I should have replied: "Bitch-slapping takes a hyphen — and likes it." )
© Peter Rozovsky 2010