Re: RARA-AVIS: i've been listening (Chandler + Ellroy)

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 18 Apr 2001

>Indulge me, I have a weak spot for Chandler.
> When I start thinking that he wasn't *that* good I reread a
> couple of stories and my faith comes back, intact.

I will never understand this, because I should love the stuff without question, but I always have trouble getting through the Chandler work. I read it, and it's so nice, but I just get stuck, and I've never known why, exactly.

> Crumley has never declared himself against the PI grain. He
> works those same fields, after all. As to Ellroy, his
> Brown's Requiem is very close to the PI tradition of
> Chandler-Ross Macdonald.

Well, I still think Crumley's work shows an extreme take on the PI idea that doesn't fit in with your run of the mill P.I.s, even if he hasn't declared it. And Ellroy did indeed start out as an imitator of the big guys, sure, I know, but then he switched gears, probably with Black Dahlia. What I meant was that it is impossible to dismiss Chandler like the post attmepted to do, because even in the work that reacts to what he did and works in new ideas, the respect for Chandler is still there.

Has anyone writing in the hb/noir field just out and out said that Chandler reeks? I'd be interested in reading that work, see how they try to get away from the shadow. I know Ellroy eventually distanced himself by saying that Chandler was awful, but by then, he had already invested himself with the guy's tradition, so too late. What about someone just starting out?

I won't be the one to dismiss him. The Long Goodbye alone is enough to make him worth all the attention.


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