Re: RARA-AVIS: Moral or Immoral?

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 23 Feb 2007

Well, it depends on what you mean. By definition a story has to be told, by a teller -- by definition it has some relationship with human experience, it has to, or it's not a 'story', it's a private daydream.

But if you go to Southern California looking for Chandler's lonely knights or Ross MacDonald's confused generations killing each other I think, again, you're missing the point. These are private worlds. What makes FAREWELL, MY LOVELY such a great book is that coheres so beautifully within itself, it is complete, or as near as dammit, anyway.

(This is one main reason why I've always liked Spillane. For all of his real flaws, his vision is absolutely distinctive. To paraphrase something Kingsley Amis, of all people, once said of Spillane, just because you wouldn't want to actually live in that world doesn't mean it hasn't been superbly brought to life.)

Didn't this whole discussion start from Altman's version of LONG GOODBYE. I don't like Altman and have never seen the movie, but I understand it to be a revisionist take on the Chandler character, no? Revisionism is a lazy man's crutch for insight: pointing out that Marlowe, or characters like him, are romantic idealized figures that could never exist in a
"heroic way", anyway, in reality seems to me, again, to miss the point.


--- Michael Robison <> wrote:

> Doug Bassett wrote:
> Art is experiential, it only has meaning within
> itself, and if this or that artwork fails -- and
> most
> do -- they fail within themselves, they present
> incoherent experiences.
> **********
> Only meaningful within itself? I couldn't disagree
> more. I believe just the opposite. Art only has
> meaning in its reflection and relationship to the
> world outside its pages, the world of human
> experience.
> miker
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail
> beta.

Doug Bassett

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