Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler, Library of America

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 16 Mar 2002


We should team up! 2-3 year ago, I also lost my old version of "The Simple Art of Murder" (the Essay). So I thought I was lucky to come across the anthology of shorts by Raymond Chandler with the same title, reprinted not so long ago by Vintage Crime (from their own first ed. of 1988). With the careless style shown by most of the publishing houses when they re-issue old anthologies of novels, there is no decent bibliography for the pieces of the anthology in this book, not even a reference of first original publishing for each of the stories!

So, later I discovered that in fact, the Essay in that one was the second version of it, that was originally published in 1950 in : 'Saturday Review of Literature'
, April 1950… and anthologized the same year by Houghton Mifflin Cy. The first one (that's the one I was looking for, the historical one), shorter I think, and *different* by many aspects, was issued in 1944, in 'The Atlantic Monthly', December 44 and was issued later in Avon's anthology 'Finger Man and other Stories'-1947.

So, beware when you're looking for the essay itself!

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries

--- William Denton <> wrote:
> Now, I know they didn't reprint the stories he
> cannibalized, the ones in
> KILLER IN THE RAIN, which I have in an old beat-up
> Penguin. But they
> didn't include "The Simple Art of Murder"! Sure,
> it's not a short story,
> but it's his most famous short piece, it was the
> title piece in his big
> short story collection, and it means I'll have to
> keep my copy of THE
> SIMPLE ART OF MURDER (the shortened reprint) around
> just so I have it.

> --

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