titusnowl: (such a lot of guns around)
There was Sherlock Holmes. There was Hercule Poirot. There was Lord Peter Wimsey. They all lived across the pond. I've read the former and the latter, though not the middle, and I've enjoyed them both, and you're welcome to discuss them all, but my post is about the American detective story - the literary version of the film noir.

Actually, my post is going to be about three authors and their most famous characters, because that's what I feel like writing about right now.
Read more... )
titusnowl: (crank cunt)
It started out as Image Macro Time

4 Philip Marlowe: Private Eye macros )

And then it became LOL Marlowe Is Emo

1 Philip Marlowe: Private Emo macro )

And then it was LOL EVERYONE IS EMO

titusnowl: (aquaman)

Jeffie:  I want to take a bath, but I want to have a smoke.  I could be like Marlowe and do both!
Justin: ... I suppose....
Jeffie:  Seriously he didn't have an ashtray in there.  Was he just ashing straight into the tub?
Justin:  I don't see why not.
Jeffie:  Because then he was soaking in cigarette ash!  Making himself redolent of it in an even more visceral way!
Justin:  They make soap out of ash.
Jeffie:  There's an intermediary step!
Justin:  Well, ash and fat.
Jeffie:  Ouch.  Ice burn on Marlowe.
titusnowl: (1790s naval reading)
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next three sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

The nearest "book" is a small pamphlet: The Pocket Diary for Physicists 2006-2007, from the Particle Data Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.  Why I have this thing I do not know.  I am not a physicist.  It doesn't really count for the meme, though, as its pages aren't numbered in sequential order.

Next closest book would be a tie between Modern Manners and Social Forms, the 1889 etiquette manual, and the second half of my Raymond Chandler omnibus.  Always eager to go above and beyond, I'll give you both.

Always respond to a greeting in the same spirit in which it is tendered.
In her own house a lady cordially greets any one brought to her by a mutual friend, usually extending her hand.
After being introduced to a lady, a gentleman must always wait for her to bow first.

I shook cigarette ash out of the window and he turned abruptly and sat down at a desk.  His double-handled bag was on the desk in front of him.  He sat rigidly, drumming on the desk beside the bag.
titusnowl: (such a lot of guns around)
Although I am the only person on the internet who has ever read "The Saint" and thought of slashiness, I am gratified to learn I'm not the only one who has had such thoughts while reading "The Long Goodbye.

 [01:33] Psmith-mun: you know every time i pick up my chandler books i am struck again by how goddamn emo marlowe is
 [01:35] Zabbers: it's part of his charm?
 [01:36] Psmith-mun: he's all tough guy on the outside and emo on the inside where he never lets it show (because that is the most emo thing of all!)
 [01:36] Psmith-mun: like
 [01:36] Psmith-mun: like a caramel filling
 [01:36] Psmith-mun: is the analogy that sprang to mind
 [01:37] Zabbers: though maybe he's more of a mars bar?
 [01:37] Psmith-mun: or like
 [01:38] Psmith-mun: some kind of truffle
 [01:38] Zabbers: coz twinkies are awfully soft
 [01:38] Psmith-mun: with coconut on the outside
 [01:38] Zabbers: haha
 [01:38] Psmith-mun: to be spikey
 [01:38] Zabbers: what about that one with the coconut in
 [01:38] Zabbers: there's definitely a candy that's coconut on the inside
 [01:38] Zabbers: I don't really like it
 [01:38] Psmith-mun: no he is a dark chocolate truffle with spikey coconut stuff on top and the filling is made of bourbon and emo
titusnowl: (house poker)
Powers Boothe looks nothing like Marlowe, either.  Looks too much like Jack Black.

You know who else looks nothing like Marlowe?  Hugh Laurie.  But he'd be good at pulling off the demeanor.

There was a three-second bit of a cop refusing to answer a question and Powers Boothe saying "Oh man, you are so tough" with a sarcastic grin that was the best three seconds of acting like Marlowe that anyone has yet achieved on celluloid
titusnowl: (such a lot of guns around)
Nobody looks like my mental picture of Phil Marlowe.  Nobody sounds like his voice in my head, either.

Dick Powell definitely loses on both counts.  So does Bogart - but Bogart doesn't get all TWANG-A-DING-DANG, Y'ALL whilst trying to pull of Marlowe's tight-edged angry nearly-yelling confrontations with policemen
titusnowl: (1790s naval reading)
I absolutely love Raymond Chandler.  I bought the Everyman's Library two-volume Complete Phil Marlowe Ouvre a few years ago, and have read all of the stories several times, but not in the past few years - in fact, I don't think I'd taken the books off the shelf since we moved into this apartment back in '04.  I've picked them up again and gone through "The Big Sleep" and "Farewell, My Lovely" (which I'm going to scan again and make a tally of every head injury Marlowe receives - it seems like he's knocked out every chapter), and am currently somewhere around halfway through "The High Window."  Raymond Chandler is woefully underappreciated as a literary writer.  The word choice and the phrasing of the narrative, the contrast between the narrative (which is first-person from Marlowe) and the dialogue (some of which, obviously, is also from Marlowe) giving excellent though subtle characterization - people have read these books and gotten the idea that Marlowe's a tough guy and nothing else, but he's not.  He acts like one.  It's the job.  He has to.  But underneath?  He plays chess, and thinks lonely mournful poetic thoughts, and makes friends with little caterpillars, and although he's too cynical to make friends easily, he usually wants to like people, because he is lonely, and he has a soft spot for other lonely people - even though he knows better than to actually show it.  He's not perfect.  He has flaws.  But he's not really tragic, either. He has strengths as well.  He is sentimental and he knows it and admits sometimes it's silly but he doesn't want to change.  He is tough, it's not just an act, but it's not all he is, either.  He's willing to take risks, but not stupid ones, and he's willing to partake of violence, but not needlessly, and he's willing to kill, but he wishes he didn't have to. 

The dialogue is all tough-guy.  The narrative is mostly descriptive, and there's not much sentiment in it.  But the word choice and the descriptions of Marlowe's reactions to people and things reveal his character more fully than you'd think.

Oh god I love these books.
titusnowl: (prettiest girl ever)
For goodness' sake, Philip Marlowe, the only possibly reason for you not to just jump Anne Riordan already is your apparent emo-boy complex.  Get over it, wipe off the eyeliner and do her already.  Lord.


titusnowl: (Default)
titus n. owl

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