FAREWELL, MY LOVELY by Raymond Chandler

Audio/some video:
Fleming/Chandler interview 1958: introduction & better audio quality at YouTube (4 videos)
Ian Fleming interviews Raymond Chandler (BBC audio, 25 mins) (same as above but no intro, worse audio)
Interview transcript is on page 30 of this pdf magazine
Chandler at The Thrilling Detective
Chandler quotes
"Well, you do get up," she said, wrinkling her nose at the faded red settee, the two odd semi-easy chairs, the net curtains that needed laundering and the boy's size library table with the venerable magazines on it to give the place a professional touch. "I was beginning to think perhaps you worked in bed, like Marcel Proust." "Who's he?" I put a cigarette in my mouth and stared at her. She looked a little pale and strained, but she looked like a girl who could function under a strain. "A French writer, a connoisseur in degenerates. You wouldn't know him." "Tut, tut," I said. "Come into my boudoir."  {The BIg Sleep}
Scholarly Chandler site 
Masculinity and Romance in Chandler's The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely
Joyce Carol Oates on Chandler   (preview only $$)
Reviews at Goodreads
NY Times review
Good blog review
A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang
Someone's Chandler/Old L.A. site
AUDIO:  Adventures of Philip Marlow radio show (audio stream or download)
Movies & photos:
Pictures of many Marlowes
Philip Marlowe at The Thrilling Detective 
Farewell, My Lovely: (Mitchum: 1978) at IMDB
Murder, My Sweet : (Powell: 1944) at IMDB 
Raymond Chandler at IMDB
Chandler cameo role in "Double Indemnity" (photo)
Photographs of Chandler locations ::  many of the same pix at The New Yorker


RkC said...

Dickens's spider on a cake:
I crossed the staircase landing, and entered the room she indicated.
From that room, too, the daylight was completely excluded, and it had an
airless smell that was oppressive. A fire had been lately kindled in
the damp old-fashioned grate, and it was more disposed to go out than
to burn up, and the reluctant smoke which hung in the room seemed colder
than the clearer air,--like our own marsh mist. Certain wintry branches
of candles on the high chimney-piece faintly lighted the chamber; or it
would be more expressive to say, faintly troubled its darkness. It was
spacious, and I dare say had once been handsome, but every discernible
thing in it was covered with dust and mould, and dropping to pieces. The
most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread on it,
as if a feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all
stopped together. An epergne or centre-piece of some kind was in the
middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its
form was quite undistinguishable; and, as I looked along the yellow
expanse out of which I remember its seeming to grow, like a black
fungus, I saw speckle-legged spiders with blotchy bodies running home
to it, and running out from it, as if some circumstances of the greatest
public importance had just transpired in the spider community.

The candles that lighted that room of hers were placed in sconces on
the wall. They were high from the ground, and they burnt with the steady
dulness of artificial light in air that is seldom renewed. As I looked
round at them, and at the pale gloom they made, and at the stopped
clock, and at the withered articles of bridal dress upon the table and
the ground, and at her own awful figure with its ghostly reflection
thrown large by the fire upon the ceiling and the wall, I saw in
everything the construction that my mind had come to, repeated and
thrown back to me. My thoughts passed into the great room across the
landing where the table was spread, and I saw it written, as it were, in
the falls of the cobwebs from the centre-piece, in the crawlings of the
spiders on the cloth, in the tracks of the mice as they betook their
little quickened hearts behind the panels, and in the gropings and
pausings of the beetles on the floor.

RkC said...

Great turnout (both sessions) to discuss for the Raymond Chandler. Hope everyone had some fun.

Some people were familiar with Chandler and his meager output, or maybe even his movie scripts (can you say Double Indemnity and Strangers on a Train?) More wise-cracking couples. As literary aficionados (no pun intended), we are used to looking at plot and character development. Neither of those two elements are of paramount importance in the Chandler oeuvre.... It's almost always about the writing. And with Marlowe, it's always first person, so we hear how he talks to himself and that is as colorful as the way he talks to crooked (and not crooked) cops.

Marlowe met every criterion that Chandler set out for a good detective character. If you missed his soft spots, they came at the end as he spilled his story to Red & called him maybe the nicest guy he'd ever met... and in the first chapters, where you may have noticed the different language he used for referring to African-Americans... depending on who he was talking to. The character development and evolution is there, buried under hard-boiled chatter, violence, and ... fear of heartbreak. There I've said it. The movies are fun, the other novels are as well, but this was his high point as far as I'm concerned. The movie of The Long Goodbye by Robert Altman with Elliott Gould as Marlowe is a treat.

DT said...

Thank you; you are so right. I started reading Farewell My Lovely and I am loving it. I think it is much better written than Big Sleep and I am not caring so much about the story line as I normally do in that type genre. I am listening to the unabridged audio version, and it is Elliott Gould again in his “California” not “New York” accent.