Re: RARA-AVIS: newbie

From: Chris Routledge (
Date: 04 Sep 2000


The PhD divided Chandler's novels into two periods, early (first four novels) and late (final three). I argued that _The Little Sister_ is a transitional novel, marking Chandler's attempts to come to terms with the collapse of literary modernism (and incidentally the corruption of what he saw as the hard-boiled genre - there's a scene in _Playback_ where Marlowe picks up what sounds like a Mickey Spillane paperback, and then throws it in the trash) and the development of consumer culture. I linked this in with changes in the way identity is constructed in consumer culture, and Marlowe's realisation that heroes like him no longer matter. The two articles are in _Clues_ and _Studies in the Novel_ - the second being a development of some of the ideas in the first, and I think a better piece of work. If anyone's interested, the references are:

Routledge, Christopher. "Stepping on the Gas: The Motor Car and Systems of Closure in Raymond Chandler". _Clues: A Journal of Detection_. Vol 16.2 Fall/Winter 1995. pp 41-56.

Routledge, Christopher. "A Matter of Disguise: Locating the Self in Raymond Chandler's _The Big Sleep_ and _The Long Goodbye_". _Studies in the Novel_. Vol XXIX, Number 1. Spring 1997. pp 94-107.

Cheers Chris

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