Thursday, November 22, 2007

THOSE VERY MEAN STREETS


Hard Boiled Mystery Writers arrived yesterday, and I can see myself dipping into frequently it for fun and inspiration. Perhaps it will be unfair to compare and contrast any modern author with these greats, but who cares.


Chandler said of his detective Philip Marlowe:


"He is neither tarnished nor afraid. He must be a complete man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor....I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin."


This seems rather a dated statement, but strangely reminiscent to me of the mixture of chivalry and corruption in stories of Alexandre Dumas. Our modern world would be a lot nicer place to live in with a few Marlowes and D'Artagnans around to clean up the mess.

Perhaps that is why we read crime fiction?









4 Comments:

Blogger Peter said...

I've always found Chandler's pronouncements not dated, but rather a bit stilted. His premise holds, more or less. Even a scapegrace like Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor has a good heart.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

11:42 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Don't these PIs and detectives with "good hearts" drown their disgust with society in booze. Or if not indulge in gourmet food to take their minds off the depravity around them?

4:51 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I don't know what sort of wine goes well with depravity or disgust, but I do know that I like Chandler better when I read his fiction than when I read his pronouncements. No disrespect intended for your fellow Dulwich Old Boy, of course. I just started rereading The Long Goodbye, as a matter of fact;
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

2:05 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I am in the middle of Priest at the moment.
Dulwich College had very mean streets in the 1950s and it would be a toss up as to whether the Bruen or Chandler would be the man to write an account of those years.

10:00 AM  

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