Sunday, March 6, 2016

FAREWELL MY LOVELY: RAYMOND CHANDLER GETS A STAR ON HOLLYWOOD'S WALK OF FAME





Man do I dig my arts and culture column! I love getting to write about the people who are my heroes!

One of them is noir novelist Raymond Chandler, to my mind one of the best writers Los Angeles has ever produced. Last year, Chandler was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The date for installation hasn't yet been set.

Here's the way this week's piece begins:

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) created the character of hard-boiled L.A. private eye Philip Marlowe. His novels — among them “The Big Sleep” (1939), “Farewell, My Lovely” (1940) and “The Lady in the Lake” (1943) — are widely considered masterpieces of noir crime fiction.

Marlowe knows the feel, the smell, the pulse, the dirty corners and the unconfessed sins of Los Angeles. “Red Wind” begins:

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Ana’s that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

Marlowe’s town is our town. He knows L.A.’s flowers, birds and trees: pepper, Italian cypress, eucalyptus. He drives the streets we drive: Franklin, Western, Wilshire, Highland. He knows what it’s like to move beneath perpetually sunny skies with a sense of impending doom."


READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.


2 comments:

  1. Chandler had a brief cameo here in Double Indemnity.

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  2. Sounds like Chandler could have used Dr. Ogundu.

    That Walk of Fame star is well-deserved (whenever it comes). Although I think The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye get more love, the best Chandler adaptation - and maybe the best noir, period, at least in terms of pure atmosphere - is the first: Murder, My Sweet, based on Farewell, My Lovely, with Dick Powell (yes, that Dick Powell) as Marlowe.

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