From: James R. Winter (
Date: 29 Nov 2004

--- In, Michael Robison
<miker_zspider@y...> wrote:

> The tarnished knight label more aptly applies to to
> Chandler's Marlowe, but it should be noted that
> Marlowe, too, could be a pig. Isn't it in FAREWELL,
> MY LOVELY where he gets filthy drunk and plays tongue
> tag with a guy's wife right in his home, and then
> makes arrangements to meet her later when interupted
> by the husband. There are several scenes in
> Chandler's works where I think Chandler transfers his
> own bad habits to Marlowe, drawing him out of
> character to my way of thinking. My personal feeling
> is that Chandler thought that if he could transfer his
> sins to Marlowe, and Marlowe could be thought of as
> noble at the end of the book, that in some way
> redeemed Chandler. Redemption in print, a baptism in
> ink.

I liked FAREWELL. Yeah, I thought Marlowe was at his most flawed in that story. He's actually drunk through most of the book and tries to commit a number of misdeeds, but can't seem to follow through. Conscience does get the better of him, but one must not underestimate the role alcohol and circumstance played in that book.

Someone once called FAREWELL "the happy Marlowe book." As much as Chandler might have been transferring his own vices to Marlowe, it also seemed he was having the most fun with this book.

Switch to THE HIGH WINDOW or look back at THE BIG SLEEP, and notice that Marlowe's nobility comes through a little more. He can't stand what's happening to and around the General in TBS, and his client in THW disgusts him, esp. when she puts him in a bad position with the cops. FML seems to be Marlowe in a bad place in his life. I don't even think the chess board showed up in that one. (Been a year since I read it, though.)

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Nov 2004 EST