Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Raymond Chandler !

Raymond Thornton Chandler
Today is the birthday of an American novelist and screenwriter Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959). In 1932, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published just seven full novels during his lifetime (though an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but "Playback" have been realized into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California. Some of Chandler's novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery". Presenting some quotations : Being Poet
  • I certainly admire people who do things.
  • A really good detective never gets married.
  • I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday.
  • A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.
  • When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split.
  • The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers.
  • The moment a man sets his thoughts down on paper, however secretly, he is in a sense writing for publication.
  • 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 challenge of screenwriting is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement.
  • It is just possible that the tensions in a novel of murder are the simplest and yet most complete pattern of the tensions on which we live in this generation.
  • The perfect detective story cannot be written. The type of mind which can evolve the perfect problem is not the type of mind that can produce the artistic job of writing.
  • Such is the brutalization of commercial ethics in this country that no one can feel anything more delicate than the velvet touch of a soft buck.
  • 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.
  • The motion picture made in Hollywood, if it is to create art at all, must do so within such strangling limitations of subject and treatment that it is a blind wonder it ever achieves any distinction beyond the purely mechanical slickness of a glass and chromium bathroom.
  • The keynote of American civilization is a sort of warm-hearted vulgarity. The Americans have none of the irony of the English, none of their cool poise, none of their manner. But they do have friendliness. Where an Englishman would give you his card, an American would very likely give you his shirt.
  • There are two kinds of truth; the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art.... Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery.
  • Their constant yelping about a free press means, with a few honorable exceptions, freedom to peddle scandal, crime, sex, sensationalism, hate, innuendo and the political and financial uses of propaganda. A newspaper is a business out to make money through advertising revenue. That is predicated on the circulation and you know what circulation depends on.
  • It's fairly obvious that American education is a cultural flop. Americans are not a well-educated people culturally, and their vocational education often has to be learned all over again after they leave school and college. On the other hand, they have open quick minds and if their education has little sharp positive value, it has not the stultifying effects of a more rigid training.
  • It is a mass language only in the same sense that its baseball slang is born of baseball players. That is, it is a language which is being molded by writers to do delicate things and yet be within the grasp of superficially educated people. It is not a natural growth, much as its proletarian writers would like to think so. But compared with it at its best, English has reached the Alexandrian stage of formalism and decay.