Re: RARA-AVIS: Clive James (!) on Chandler

From: Chris Routledge (
Date: 27 Sep 2001

>I'm suspicious of "the definitive essay," and Chandler did a hell of a lot
>more than give a halo to cheapness (did he, in fact, even do that?).
>That's Mallick talking, though. Has anyone read this essay?
Is this a reprinting of the essay James has in Miriam Gross's _The World of Raymond Chandler_ I wonder? If so it's an amusing essay that reviews Chandler's career, and does have an ambitious scope. James (if I recall) says that Chandler's dialogue in the novels is "playable" as film screenplay. It's not full of revelations now, but in 1977 when Chandler criticism was fairly scarce it must have seemed strong. James is a clever reviewer, and no mistake, but if it's the same essay the language-based criticism seems dated now.


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