RE: RARA-AVIS: Marlowe as racist

From: Anthony Dauer (
Date: 05 Sep 2001

I hear Chandler saying it loud and clear in Marlowe's dialogue ... I know what he's saying like I know the sky is blue and the grass is green and puppies are a bundle of furry fun. Anything more blatant and he'd be giving a sermon or as the creative writers would say ... he's telling not showing. We don't need sermons. We don't listen to 'em and they do more to make the average human do the wrong thing just in spite of 'em than the opposite. In the end you don't need 'em either. Either they believe or they don't. No one's going to sway anyone one way or the other regardless of the logic or persuasiveness of the argument. Racism ain't going away cause we don't have the stomach for what it would take to end it.

Anthony Dauer
Alexandria, Virginia

Judas is looking for a few Femme Fatales for its next issue:
-----Original Message----- From: Frederick Zackel Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:07 PM
No, I had not forgotten the question. I was still trying to frame an answer, If you remember, I wrote that I ended the essay before I finished it. I couldn't decide for myself where I stood. See, I remember that the whole point of Huckleberry Finn is Huck saying, "All right, I'll go to hell!" because he rejects his entire society's racist point of view. That's the punchline of the novel, if you will. Because he rejects his world, he goes off into the wilderness at the end of the book, into the uncharted lands. (Any Rara-avian can connect that with every book we discuss.) Huck says the words; I wished Marlowe said them. Yeah, I know sarcasm and irony. (Irony equals intellectual sarcasm.) I wish Chandler was clearer, that he actually said "All right, I'll go to hell!" I wanted him to say it, and not have me mouth the words for him, and tell myself, yeah, that's what Chandler would've said, I know it. But I don't know it. I don't hear Chandler saying it. I don't hear Marlowe saying it. I am not convinced by the silence. Can't see beyond my own prejudices? Hey, why should I be any different than anybody else?
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