RARA-AVIS: Re: Chandler and Crissy and Philip and Robert

From: mburch5717 ( mburch5717@AOL.com)
Date: 18 Dec 2007

Hey Kevin,

I think you missed Jim's recent note where he said he had had enough of this debate and had said everything he wanted to.


--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
> I hear there's recently been some sort of Holy Decree on the
> but I don't think it's official until we see three puffs of smoke...
> Jim wrote:
> > Let's take that statement piece by piece. First of
> > all, he asserts that Chandler saw Marlowe as a loser.
> > Clearly Chandler did NOT. He saw Marlowe as "the best
> > man in his world and a good enough man for any world,"
> > as "a man fit for adventure," and as "the hero . . .
> > everything."
> Chandler also clearly referred to him as "Tarzan on a motor
> Does that sound like the best man in the world?
> To me, that sounds like EVEN Chandler was sharp enough to realize
> conflicts and ambiguities and flaws in the monster he'd unleashed.
> Certainly, the author's opinions about almost everything bounced
> and forth in his writings -- both public and private. He'd argue
> one day and down the next. He was alternately a raging egomaniac
and a
> self-doubting, self-pitying petty-minded crank, with more issues
> a newsstand, who married his mother. Or at least tried to.
> (He was also a decorated war hero whose quiet bravery in battle
> reveals some loud-mouthed "tough guy" writers as the poseurs they
> always were.)
> Which is why it's almost always safer to argue the art than the
> artist. As Lawrence Block (Hey! Aren't we supposed to be talking
> him?) once said, "In the end it's what's on the page that counts --
> not how or why it got there." That applies to movie screens too.
> And judging from the result, I think Altman understood Chandler
> well, and respected him at least well enough to disagree with him.
> this wind and melodrama about Altman being "immoral" and burning
> hell -- yeah, yeah, it's a joke -- seriously undermines some of
> finer points (and some of them are very fine indeed) of your
> I love Chandler's work as much as the next guy, and the
> that those who enjoyed Altman's "immoral" THE LONG GOODBYE are
> lesser fans (or perhaps even "immoral" themselves) is unfortunate.
> And now, speaking of Chandler, has anyone else here read THE LONG
> EMBRACE, the new book on that fun-lovin' Ray and his beloved Cissy?
> Kevin Burton Smith
> www.thrillingdetective.com
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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