Mozart concertos! Aged sixteen in my room at One Bank Street, with the door closed. The piano sings alone, and I lay down my books and close my eyes. One phrase in the slow second movement, with gentle fingertips, touches me like a kiss—I had not noticed the double notes, the dancing phrase in thirds, and it is a revelation—just as a kiss is a revelation from one we have known before, but whose kiss is the new unknown. At sixteen, I lay and asked myself could there be anything ever in the world so wonderfully beautiful, so perfect, as this Mozart concerto? And the answer was, no, not really—only someone might somehow be a concerto.

Patricia Highsmith, notebook, 11 February 1942, in Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941–1995, edited by Anna von Planta