RE: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Those were the days

Date: 07 Sep 2000

>> > Doesn't Marlowe at one point say something like "He snarled and
>> > called me something nasty." Would that sentence really have been
>> > better if Chandler had written: "He called me a motherfucking
>> > asshole."
What this says to me is that Marlowe feels contempt for the man's attitude and discounts his statement for that reason. "He called me a motherfucking asshole" is specific enough to imply that Marlowe had paid attention to the statement - it meant something, or worried him. Good dialogue is constructed to reveal things about the character who is speaking. It gives him/her away. A word like "nigger" has very different (full) meanings according to who is speaking and the historical and cultural context, and it's all necessary to the story -- or should be.

>When it comes to faux hardboiled or pretentious
>hardboiled or humorless hardboiled, I'd rather read Agatha Christie.


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