Re: RARA-AVIS: Ross Macdonald's influence

From: James R. Winter (
Date: 30 Nov 2004

--- In, "Bill Crider" <bcrider@h...> wrote:
> Ross Macdonald (have we ever had a Macdonald month?) was certainly
aware of
> Archer's lack of dimension. Didn't he once say something
like, "When he
> turns sideways, I can hardly see him"?

And that goes back to what I said about THE IVORY GRIN. While Archer is more fleshed out in this one than in most novels (prior to THE BLUE HAMMER), he's already starting to detach from the story, becoming more the narrator and the catalyst than the central character.

Whereas Marlowe is well-rounded (as someone pointed out) and we see the characters from his point-of-view - ie. Chandler writing his protag's view of the world - Archer becomes more of a lens for the reader. MacDonald uses him to put the characters on display and let the readers make their own judgments.

And I do agree about THE BIG SLEEP. Put a gun to my head and tell me to pick between THE MALTESE FALCON and THE BIG SLEEP (Now there's a no-lose scenario, unless you refuse and take the bullet), I'll pick TBS every time. I can see most people asking for a coin to flip, though.

Jim Winter

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Nov 2004 EST