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Raymond Chandler’s foundational detective novel The Big Sleep,

“Few screenwriters possess homes in Bel-Air, illuminated swimming pools, wives in full-length mink coats, three servants, and that air of tired genius gone a little sour. Money buys pathetically little in Hollywood beyond the pleasure of living in an unreal world, associating with a narrow group of people who think, talk, and drink nothing but pictures, most of them bad, and the doubtful pleasure of watching famous actors and actresses guzzle in some of the rudest restaurants in the world. I do not mean that Hollywood society is any duller or more dissipated than moneyed society anywhere: God knows it couldn’t be. But it is a pretty thin reward for a lifetime devoted to the essential craft of what might be a great art.”
Raymond Chandler
Writers in Hollywood

 Works Cited  Chandler, Raymond.

This handy-dandy trade paperback features three single-day ours of Los Angeles, visiting over forty locations referred to by Raymond Chandler in his novels: Marlowe's Hollywood, Marlowe's Downtown, and Marlowe's Drive. Includes b&w photo illustrations, color maps, local colour and more historical trivia than you can shake a gimlet at. For a new Los Angeleno like myself, or just someone contemplating killing a few days in the City of Angels, this is one righteous read.

Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye" remembered by Thomas Pluck.

Soon after the publication of The Long Goodbye, Cissy Chandler’s health worsened. She had been ill with heart and respiratory trouble for some time and spent much of the summer of 1954 in the hospital, where she was diagnosed with fibrosis of the lungs and confined to an oxygen tent. She died on December 12. Chandler was devastated by her death. He began drinking heavily, and in February of 1955 attempted suicide. He was put in the county hospital initially and then spent six days in a private sanatorium. After his release, Chandler decided to leave California. He went briefly to New York, and then sailed for England. During the last four years of his life Chandler divided his time between England and the United States. In London he was treated as a celebrity and established a circle of acquaintances that included writers, artists, and critics. He also suffered from depression and continued his excessive drinking, which on several occasions resulted in his being hospitalized. Despite this, Chandler still completed another Marlowe novel, Playback (1958).

The first in-depth study of Chandler and his work in film in years. Phillips zigs and zags all over the place here, throwing in an anecdote here, a little gossip there, and another Cliff's Notes synopsis over there, but he has some interesting ideas worth checking out. And some of those bits and pieces are just great stuff. Phillips tosses in a preface by Billy Wilder, a prologue, an introduction, and a brief biography of Chandler, but he's at his best when he relates how Chandler's screenplays, including Double Indemnity (directed by Billy Wilder) and Strangers on a Train (directed by Alfred Hitchcock), slammed him right up against the Hollywood elite, with whom he had a serious love/hate thing going on. And there's some truly great behind-the-scenes stuff any movie buff would enjoy, plus a fascinating look at the unpublished Lady of the Lake screenplay, the never actually produced Playback script and an intriguing comparison of the original version of Howard Hawks The Big Sleep, and the version most of us got to see.

Promo portrait photo of author Raymond Chandler, ..

Chandler found himself devoting more and more time to business matters—keeping tax records, negotiating the sale of translation or reprint rights, arranging for a Philip Marlowe radio and television series-and was often distracted from his writing. He did eventually produce his sixth novel, The Long Goodbye (1953), which is widely considered his best work. The book deals, in part, with Marlowe watching over an alcoholic, suicidal writer whose drinking binges interfere with his completion of a book promised to his publisher—an ominous parallel to events in Chandler’s life.

Chandler turned to fiction writing to earn a living, choosing the detective pulp market, in part because he could get paid while learning his craft, and in part because he thought the form had potential for forceful and honest writing. He used the Los Angeles area, with which he had grown familiar, as the setting for most of his works. His first short story, ”Blackmailers Don’t Shoot” (1933), was published by Black Mask, the most prestigious of the detective pulps. He spent the next six years writing for Black Mask and other detective magazines.

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''The Long Goodbye'' by Raymond Chandler Essay Sample

For the next three years, Chandler tried unsuccessfully to make a career as a Lon don man of letters. He worked briefly as a reporter for the Daily Express, from which he was fired, then wrote as a freelancer for the Westminster Gazette, contributing poems, satirical sketches, and short articles on European affairs. In 1911, he began contributing essays and reviews to The Academy, a London literary weekly, but in 1912, he decided he had no future as a London writer.

Raymond Chandler Essay - UniversalEssays

So far the critics have complained about the inclusion of some of the lesser novels, the Double Indemnity screenplay, and the sparseness of the letters; some reviewers have even suggested the titles could have been pared down to one volume. But this is minor carping. What MacShane and the editors at The Library of America have achieved is a comprehensive edition of Chandler’s work which will stand for some time as the standard one. By including enough material for two volumes, the editors have assured that the first crime writer to be honored by them is not being slighted, and they have made the claim, if it still needs to be made, that the canon of American literature must be expanded to include all good writing in America no matter what its subject matter or previous literary standing. As the first crime writer to be honored by the series, Raymond Chandler was an excellent choice.

Raymond Chandler Chandler, Raymond - Essay

Since his death Raymond Chandler has come to be recognized as a major American prose writer, and, along with Dashiell Hammett, one of the primary founders of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. The publication by The Library of America, in two uniform volumes, of seven of his novels, thirteen of his short stories, a screenplay, and selected essays and letters marks a sort of official acceptance of crime fiction in the canon of American literature, and it indicates Chandler’s permanent position as a fiction writer of importance in modern American letters. All of the selections in the two volumes have been published elsewhere, but the collection makes them more readily accessible. Frank MacShane, Chandler’s biographer, made the selections and supplied the textual notes as well as a comprehensive chronology of the writer’s life. As usual in The Library of America series, the editorial material has been kept to a minimum, but MacShane’s notes do provide a context for reading Chandler’s work more fruitfully.

Raymond Chandler on Writing | Chris Routledge

In 1933 Chandler first published a detective story in Black Mask, and over the next five years he wrote short fiction for the pulps, before beginning his first novel, The Big Sleep, which was published by Knopf in 1939. For the next few years Chandler wrote novels, many of which he sold to the movies, and in 1943 he was hired by Paramount to work with Billy Wilder on a screen adaptation of James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity. During the 1940s Chandler increasingly turned out screenplays such as The Blue Dahlia, The Lady in the Lake, The Big Sleep, and Strangers on a Train which were turned into successful films. In the 1950s Chandler resumed his heavy drinking and he completed only one more novel during his lifetime, The Long Goodbye (1954), the same year that Cissy died after a long series of illnesses. Although he had a number of affairs during the later half of the decade none filled the void left by her death. Raymond Chandler died of pneumonia in La Jolla, California on March 26th 1959.

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