Chandler, Chandler, Chandler.
We've talked about him at some length now. You've read stories of first exposure, weighed his misogyny, agreed that he was a master stylist and a pretty weak plotter. We've broken down Marlowe, talked about booze and stereotypes and the self as a symbol.
This is the part where I admit that I'm not a Chandler scholar. This was actually my first reading of his work, and while I was startled and delighted by the language and the social commentary, I'm not really in a position to instruct anyone on it.
So here's the plan. When Kevin and I taught at the library, we warmed up the students by asking them to write a Chandler-ism. A one-liner description rich in attitude and flair and noir sensibilities. (Check here if you haven't read Chandler and want to see what I'm talking about).
It turned out to be a lot of fun. Here was mine:
"The dope was pure as a nun's daydream, and the woman holding it was all daydream but no nun."Kevin's (and I'm paraphrasing here bro, my apologies for where I mangle it) ran:
"The sign in the window advertising pedicures was written by a hand that you would never want touching your foot."Now it's your turn. Gimme your best shot. It can be about a car, a lover, a fight, an alley, a crime, whatever. Something from a work in progress or something you make up on the spot.
The winner, chosen in an unapologetically subjective fashion--in other words, by me--wins a prize.
Two, actually: an autographed advance copy of my forthcoming novel GOOD PEOPLE, which isn't out until August, and an autographed advanced copy of my friend Julia Spencer-Fleming's upcoming book I SHALL NOT WANT, which isn't out till June. Outfitters can't win the prize, but I hope you'll participate.
So let's see what you folks got. Talk Chandler to me.