The Book and the Movie: The Collector (1963) | John Fowles / William Wyler

“You don’t know what being alone is.” 
John Fowles, The Collector, 1963

“People won't admit it, they're too busy grabbing to see that the lights have fused. They can't see the darkness 
and the spider-face beyond and the great web of it all. That there's always this if you scratch at the surface 
of happiness and goodness. The black and the black and the black.” 

John Fowles, The Collector, 1963


“It’s despair at the lack of feeling, of love, of reason in the world. It’s despair that anyone can even contemplate the idea of dropping a bomb or ordering that it should be dropped. It’s despair that so few of us care. It’s despair that there’s so much brutality and callousness in the world. It’s despair that perfectly normal young men can be made vicious and evil because they’ve won a lot of money. And then do what you’ve done to me.”

“I hate the uneducated and the ignorant. I hate the pompous and the phoney. I hate the jealous and the resentful. I hate the crabbed and mean and the petty. I hate all ordinary dull little people who aren’t ashamed of being dull and little.”


After supper Caliban handed me “The Catcher in the Rye ” and said, I've read it. I knew at once by his tone that he meant – ‘and I don't think much of it'. 

M. Well? 
C. I don't see much point in it. 
M. You realize this is one of the most brilliant studies of adolescence ever written? 
C. He sounds a mess to me. 
M. Of course he's a mess. But he realizes he's a mess, he tries to express what he feels, he's a human being for all his faults. Don't you even feel sorry for him? 
C. I don't like the way he talks. 
M. I don't like the way you talk. But I don't treat you as below any serious notice or sympathy. 
C. I suppose it's very clever. To write like that and all. 
M. I gave you that book to read because I thought you would feel identified with him. You're a Holden Caulfield. He doesn't fit anywhere and you don't. 
C. I don't wonder, the way he goes on. He doesn't try to fit. 
M. He tries to construct some sort of reality in his life, some sort of decency. 
C. It's not realistic. Going to a posh school and his parents having money. He wouldn't behave like that. In my opinion.

John Fowles, The Collector, 1963



“I love making, I love doing. I love being to the full, I love everything which is not sitting and watching and copying and dead at heart.”


“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you I was very happy, would you, I said…Because you think I don’t feel anything properly, you don’t know I have deep feelings but I can’t express them like you can. Just because you can’t express your feelings it doesn’t mean they’re not deep.”


“Deep down in him, side by side with the beastliness, the sourness, there is a tremendous innocence. It rules him. He must protect it.”


John Fowles, The Collector, 1963
“I don’t think any more, the wall is between us, I think, the wall keeps us apart.”
Polish film poster, designed by Eryk Lipinski, for the 1965 film The Collector  ^
The Collector (1965) / William Wyler
Stars: Terence Stamp, Samantha Eggar, Mona Washbourne
The actress Audrey Hepburn photographed with her husband Mel Ferrer 
(actor, dialogue coach and film director) by Roger Viollet during their arrival
 at the Publicis Studio in Paris (France), for the premiere of “The Collector“ 
 on June 17, 1965.

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