RARA-AVIS: Re: Harper about to come on - TCM

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 23 Aug 2010

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Dick Lochte" <dlochte@...> wrote:
    > Patrick mentioned that Paul Newman did not resemble the Lew Archer of the
    > novels. But does Macdonald ever tell us what Archer looked like? Does
    > Chandler gives us much of a description of Marlowe, except for his height
    > (which is where Bogart falls short -- sorry)? Describing the physical
    > aspects of your hero isn't easy to do when you're writing first-person
    > narration. Though Hammett managed to put the image of the Op in our minds.
    > And MacDonald gave us a complete picture of Travis McGee, using McGee's
    > often annoying self-referencing. I'm wondering if it might not be better to
    > let the reader fill in the blanks. Any opinions?

    I agree, it's better to let the reader imagine what the character looks like. One PI who did describe himself in detail was Shell Scott. I don't recall Chandler physically describing Marlowe in any detail. As you say, Hammett does say something about the Op. suggesting he's out of shape and certainly not a Grecian beauty, but I don't have a clear image of him. In fact, I feel no need to visualize the Op. His voice is sufficient.



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