Re: RARA-AVIS: Passports, please...

From: Chris Routledge (
Date: 30 Aug 2001

Mark wrote:

>I am curious about the statement that
>Chandler was an English writer. Sure, he spent some formative years
>over there, and it had to effect his vision of America and his writing
>about it, but "English writer"? I think that's a stretch. Is that
>really how he is thought of on the other side of the pond?

No, not really (but for a while there we had a tight hold on TS Eliot). Fredric Jameson's first essay on Chandler makes the point that like Nabokov, Chandler saw himself as writing in an unfamiliar (American) idiom, and speculates that that made him more aware of what he was doing with his style. A lot of Chandler was English (rather than British I think) - didn't he also prefer English drinks (a case of Gordon's gin sent to the Connaught in London when he thought it would be rationed)? But he was also very Irish in his upbringing, especially, to reply to another post, in his attitude to sex.

To paraphrase Kevin, sometimes a writer is just a writer.


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