Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Europe has sent us also a ragged fringe – fakers, slickers, imposters. A war correspondent of some celebrity who had invaded royal palaces to sit with kings said that the only potentate who really over-awed him was a Cincinnati tailor masquerading as a Romanoff, bumming free board at hotels. Meanwhile, the Austrian grand duke who was real was sleeping on the sand at Santa Monica with his devoted and unpaid valet – starving until he found a way to get one square meal a day by his promise not to expose the 'Commander of His Imperial Majesty's Household Troops, Sir,' as a servant in an officers' mess."
from Los Angeles: City of Dreams (1935) by Harry Carr
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
from Raymond Chandler by Tom Hiney. Also:
"There would be an intense blackout scene involving amnesia and usually alcohol in every one of Chandler's Marlowe novels, as well as in one of his Hollywood screenplays. In fact, the blackout scene became a distinct trademark of Marlowe's adventures. These scenes were given such prominence and space throughout Chandler's writing that they beg at least two clear biographical correlations. First the German bombardment that left Chandler unconscious during the First World War and ended his infrantry career. Second, the blackouts that he experienced when he drank heavily; specifically, the sustained binge he embarked on at Dabney's.
There are of course other, less subtextual, reasons why Chandler may have detailed so many blackouts. Like other serial heroes, Marlowe must fight villains, but he can never die. One way in which his survival could retain any sort of credibility is for him to receive regular non-fatal blows. That said, few action writers can ever have given the head injury so much attention, or lavished upon it as much imagery, as did Chandler."