Literary Birthday 23 July - Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler was born 23 July 1888, and died 26 March 1959

10 Quotes

  1. Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
  2. In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.
  3. Would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of bar-room vernacular, that is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed and attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have.
  4. Any man who can write a page of living prose adds something to our life, and the man who can, as I can, is surely the last to resent someone who can do it even better. An artist cannot deny art, nor would he want to. A lover cannot deny love.
  5. The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. 
  6. When a book, any sort of book, reaches a certain intensity of artistic performance it becomes literature. That intensity may be a matter of style, situation, character, emotional tone, or idea, or half a dozen other things. It may also be a perfection of control over the movement of a story similar to the control a great pitcher has over the ball.
  7. Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say.
  8. Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.
  9. At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.
  10. The perfect detective story cannot be written. The type of mind which can evolve the perfect problem is not the type of mind that can produce the artistic job of writing.

Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter. He is considered to be a founder of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. His novels include The Big SleepFarewell, My Lovely, and The Long Goodbye.

Source for Image

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and  Twitter

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Raymond Chandler’s response to an overzealous editor

“…when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split.”

6005 Camino de la Costa

La, Jolla, California
Jan. 18th, 1947

Dear Mr. Weeks:

I’m afraid you’ve thrown me for a loss. I thought “Juju Worship in Hollywood” was a perfectly good title. I don’t see why it has to be linked up with crime and mystery. But you’re the Boss. When I wrote about writers this did not occur to you. I’ve thought of various titles such asBank Night in HollywoodSutter’s Last StandThe Golden Peepshow,All it Needs is ElephantsThe Hot Shop HandicapWhere Vaudeville Went it Died, and rot like that. But nothing that smacks you in the kisser. By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed but attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have. I think your proofreader is kindly attempting to steady me on my feet, but much as I appreciate the solicitude, I am really able to steer a fairly clear course, provided I get both sidewalks and the street between. 

If I think of anything, I’ll wire you. 

Kindest Regards, 

(Signed)

Source: Amanda Patterson's tumblr

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