RE: RARA-AVIS: Chandler, similes, metaphors

Date: 26 Aug 2000

In response to Michael Sharp,

Certainly agree that Moose becomes a character you care about, indicating that just because one gets an animal or reductive nickname doesn't mean that one is doomed to life as a cipher. Nor does a fully human name, such as Wilmer, guarantee full humanity.

Also agree that "shortcut" may be the wrong metaphor for the effect of such names--was attempting to respond to the thread having to do with shortcuts or maybe shorthand ways of dealing with character. In Chandler's case, I'd say it's less a matter of getting on the with plot than figuring who was worth a spotlight on the stage.

One we probably love about Chandler's Marlowe is his willingness to commit to characters others would write off as "types"--an alcoholic, a musclehead--even though they are first seen as types.

Bill Hagen

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