RARA-AVIS: Chandler on anonymous hardboiled narrators?

From: Alanhorn3@cs.com
Date: 23 Aug 2003

The moderator of this list has encouraged me to post this question here, telling me "someone's bound to know," so let's see.

I need to find a passage from one of Chandler's essays or letters in which he's making fun of the vogue in hardboiled novels at the time for anonymous first-person narrators in imitation of Hammett's Continental Op stories (I believe Chandler specifically mentions Hammett).

He goes on to say that he or someone else once gave a writer who uses that kind of narrator this advice: that he call the narrator Joe (I forget the specific name, that may be it), so that when he picks up a phone the writer wouldn't have to use a circuitous construction like "I answered the phone and identified myself" but could simply write "I said, 'Hi, this is Joe.'"

As you can see, I can recall the passage pretty clearly but I need an exact citation.

I do appreciate any help with this.


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