Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Hard-boiled Stand-up Guys: Ray and Woody

From: Patrick King (
Date: 05 Mar 2008

--- Kevin Burton Smith
> I'm not so sure about that. Chandler was supposedly
> witty, cranky,
> athletic (tennis, anyone?) and a decorated war hero
> (which he earned
> in combat, which presumably means he wasn't quite
> the cream puff some
> of his later author photos might suggest). Witty,
> cranky, tough and
> brave -- sounds like Marlowe to me.
****************************************************** There are many interviews with Chandler around and he didn't talk or act like Marlow. I suspect the only things he and Marlow had obviously in common were a passion for chess.
> And is that really any more "detached" than Hammett
> portraying himself
> as a quick-witted man of action and a bon vivant,
> instead of a sickly
> drunk who was in and out of the hospital and
> reputedly couldn't keep
> it zipped?
****************************************************** Well, that was at the end of his life when his lifestyle had caught up with him. I mean, they were all drunks, weren't they? They were young adults during prohibition where the strength of a person's character was determined by how boldly you defied the law. As to "keeping it zipped," I've always believed that persons who can restrain their passion are only those with passion weak enough to be restrained. Famous writers have groupies, too.
***************************************************** And Fleming's Bond far-fetched adventures
> were a far cry
> from his own experiences as an intelligence officer.
> Why, I bet he
> never found a naked girl painted gold in his hotel
> room hardly ever...
****************************************************** But much of what Fleming wrote was idealized from his experience. There's a current Fleming bio showing on the Biography Channel today, as a matter of fact. Several of the people who knew him say that there's a good deal of Fleming in the most absurd Bond films. As to his prowess with women, it was, according to that same bio, legendary among the faculty and student body when he was still at Eton. The woman who eventually became his wife became pregnant by Fleming twice before he relented and married her. She had to divorce the marquis she was married to, to marry Fleming. Fleming had a varied sex life by all accounts. He just didn't bother to "keep it zipped."

Patrick King

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