The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Wisdom of Raymond Chandler

I love Raymond Chandler.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to find a first American Edition of the The Long Goodbye.

I grew up on movie depictions of Philip Marlowe, his always just getting by private detective.  I like Marlowe - a fellow far too human for the line of work he found himself in.  It's Marlowe's humanity that separates Chandler's writing from a lot of the detective stuff of the same era.  Chandler's stuff was crisp, emotional and moving and it has been largely ignored by those who study literature, relegated to the catch-all bin of pulp fiction.

Yesterday, while my daughter was at her piano lesson, I took a walk to a local book and video store and I came across a skinny book titled, "The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler".  I had to pick it up.

The very first section of the book - right after the introduction  - is a quarter of a page called "Great Thought"

"There are two kinds of truth:  the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart.  The first of these is science, and the second is art.  Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other.  Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber.  Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery.  The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous."
                                  Raymond Chandler  Feb 19th 1938

Pretty philosophical for a mere pulp writer, I think.