I like Raymond Chandler. I like him a lot. I can be obtained to expound on this for $25 a day plus expenses which are mostly whiskey and gasoline.
Chandler was a pulp writer but dear Gods his prose put most of his more “literary” contemporaries in the shade.
Did DH Lawrence ever write a line like this…
From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.
No! Lawrence was concerned about fretting about his “John Thomas” - I seriously defy anyone of normal sense to read “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and not collapse in histrionics. Not because it’s funny - it isn’t.
Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.
The minute you try to talk business with him he takes the attitude that he is a gentleman and a scholar, and the moment you try to approach him on the level of his moral integrity he starts to talk business.
Good critical writing is measured by the perception and evaluation of the subject; bad critical writing by the necessity of maintaining the professional standing of the critic.
Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.
I do a great deal of research - particularly in the apartments of tall blondes.
I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you didn’t need a gun, you’d better take one along that worked.
I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday.
She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.
Philip Marlowe is of course a wonderful creation. A profoundly decent man in an indecent world. The kinda bloke you’d like to know but not “blokish” if you see what I mean - he is an ace chess-player, reads poetry and bemoans the vileness of LA. He’s good looking but not in a pretty boy way, hard as nails, ferociously independent and fiercely bright. Oh, and he’ll always stand you a drink. And Hell’s teeth, he got his break with probably the greatest prose stylist in English of the last century. And Chandler’s essay that explains him, “The Simple Art or Murder” is to kill for.
Though don’t do that in California or a guy in a coat and a hat will stick a 1911 semi-auto chambered to .38 super in your ribs.