Re: RARA-AVIS: Marlowe as racist?

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 05 Sep 2000

On Mon, 4 Sep 2000, Jim Beaver wrote:

> Also, I hope you're not indicating that you missed Marlowe's ironic sarcasm
> in remarks like "it was only a shine killing, hardly a misdemeanor." I've
> read FML many times and never felt that Marlowe was a racist, but rather
> that Chandler surrounded Marlowe with racists in this story. That doesn't
> mean Marlowe was free of the kinds of easy stereotyping that we have today
> throttled and wrestled to the ground (so much so that I, a Cherokee by
> substantial descent, am often called on the carpet by whites for referring
> to myself as an Indian!). But in view of his time, I think Marlowe is what
> Chandler obviously intended him to be in this situation: the most decent
> man in the joint.

In the fifties Finnish translations of "The Long Goodbye" they left out the scene where Marlowe resents some Finnish client for being ugly and misbehaving. In the newer translations the scene is intact. But they must've thought it would offend Finnish readers as racist!


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