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Raymond Chandler

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In 1939, his first novel, The Big Sleep, was published. He went on to write six more novels, many of which were made into movies. He also wrote original screenplays, such as Double Indemnity (1944) and Strangers on a Train (1951).

Born out of the tradition of Hammett and James M. Cain, Chandler's work and his protagonist Philip Marlowe stand as one of the landmarks of American literature.

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Lori Shelton - 04:41pm Oct 11, 1999 PST(#32 of 79)

In one of Lawrence Block's books, I think it might have been "The Burglar Who Quoted Kipling"..."The Burglar in the Library" or could have been "The Burglar Who Thought he Was Bogart". Block's protagonist, Bernie Rhodenbarr, is commissioned to steal a book either written and autographed by Hammett to a contemporary (Chandler??) or vice-versa. The book turns out to be a fraud and exposes a dislike of one author for another. Does anyone know what I'm talking about...obviously I don't.haha

David Matthews - 05:44pm Oct 11, 1999 PST(#33 of 79)

Lori Shelton.

I think it was "The Burglar In The Library" The inscription in the stolen book showed Hammett couldn't stand Chandler. Perhaps Block has some inside knowledge.

P Marlowe - 11:30pm Oct 12, 1999 PST(#34 of 79)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

I've read quite a bit about Chandler and there is a great bio of him on PBS. He was rather reclusive and his wife was apparently bedridden for some long period of time before she died. He was devoted to her. He drank a lot (as did Hammett) seems to go with the territory (writing, that is), but I don't remember anything about him having any correspondence or real relationship with Hammett. They were bound to have known one another, but as to a friendship, I really don't see one anywhere in what I've read or seen about Chandler.

Hammett had a very stormy relationship with Lillian Hellman which devoured a great part of both their private lives.

David Matthews - 05:16am Oct 13, 1999 PST(#35 of 79)

You're right about drinking seeming to go with the territory. Off hand I can't think of one writer who was not a heavy drinker. Chandler, Hammett, Woolrich, Faulkner,Hemingway,Fitzgerald,London, the list goes on and on.

P Marlowe - 08:53pm Oct 23, 1999 PST(#36 of 79)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

You can add Mailer and Vonnegut to that list as well. J.D. Salinger said once he stopped drinking and started getting his life on track, he found he could not longer write. Quess it takes tremendous angst in one's life to make them truly a genius.

David Matthews - 06:51pm Oct 24, 1999 PST(#37 of 79)

There is story told by John Houseman, the producer of The Blue Dahlia, about Raymond Chandler and his drinking.

During the final days of shooting The Blue Dahlia Chandler came to him in a state of extreme agitation. He explained that he had reached a complete block in the writing of the script, then he made the following astonishing suggestion. He said that the only way he could finish, was to stay home, get drunk (he had been dry for some time) and to stay drunk until the script was finished.

He explained to Houseman that the danger was not in the drinking, he had done it before and could handle it, but in the return to normal life afterwards. The studio was desperate so they accepted. For eight days Chandler ate no solid food. A doctor visited him twice a day to give him glucose injections. The studio would pick up the work and take it back to the set. Apparently Chandler was never incoherent, he would drink just enough to reach the right state of relaxation, he would write then fall into a light sleep, wake up and continue the cycle.

The script was finished but I could hardly call it the ideal way to work.

Hugh Drummond - 03:30am Oct 26, 1999 PST(#38 of 79)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

Definitely not! I tried it once, and the resulting mess was so illegible I have yet to attempt to type it. I sympathise completely for the foor fellow!


Rik Shepherd. - 01:41pm Oct 26, 1999 PST(#39 of 79)
Never hire a ferret to do a weasel's job

But it was Chandler's idea, and he did get the script finished in time for it to be filmed before Alan Ladd was drafted, and it was a good script...

Hugh Drummond - 03:19am Oct 29, 1999 PST(#40 of 79)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

Then the fellow certainly earns my respect.


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