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Archive for May, 2010

Today’s Quote:

The difference between a bad artist and a good one is: The bad artist seems to copy a great deal; the good one really does.

– William Blake

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Today’s Quotes:

1.  The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off. 

– Raymond Chandler

2. Alcohol is like love.  The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine.   After that you take the girl’s clothes off.

– Raymond Chandler

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Today’s Quote:

Maybe a nation that consumes as much booze and dope as we do and has our kind of divorce statistics should pipe down about ”character issues.” Either that or just go ahead and determine the presidency with three-legged races and pie-eating contests. It would make better TV.

– P. J. O’Rourke

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I sometimes wonder what it would be like to truly be a good writer like Robert Parker, who created  great characters like:  Spenser, Jesse Stone; Hawk; Sunny Randall; Everett Hitch; Virgil Cole, and many more…living by a code of honor that is somehow lost in today’s world.

(George Pelecanos, author of A Firing Offense, Right As Rain, etc., from a post to Rara-Avis, dated12/14/2000)

“Last week I had the opportunity to spend a good deal of time listening to some of the best contemporary crime writers discuss their work at a conference in the Bahamas. Parker’s Spenser novels were mentioned repeatedly as a major influence on many of these writers (it was also frequently stated, to be fair, that the early books were far superior to the more recent ones.) My opinion is that the countless imitations of the Spenser books–and there are many–have tarnished our perception of the originals. We’re tired of Spenser’s sons so we’re tired of Spenser. Put it in another context: a young person looking at Bullitt or The French Connection today might yawn at “just another car chase,” but those car chases were groundbreaking and mind-blowing at the time of their release.”

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Today’s Quote:

Learning is acquired by reading books; but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading man, and studying all the various editions of them.

-Lord Chesterfield

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Today’ Quote:

Spenser Talk…by Robert Parker:

“I walked back across the park and crossed Fifth Avenue and turned uptown. There was a plate glass window on the Hotel Pierre and I checked my reflection as I went by. I was wearing a leather jacket and a blue-toned Allen Solly tattersall shirt and jeans, and Nike running shoes with a charcoal swoosh. I paused and turned the collar up on my leather jacket. Perfect. Did the traffic slow on of Fifth Avenue to look at me? Maybe.” (from Taming a Sea-Horse, 1986)

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♦ Poodle Springs  by Raymond Chandler, (Completed by Robert Parker)

I recently read Poddle Springs by Raymond Chandler and Robert Parker.  When Chandler died in 1959, he left behind the opening chapters of this Philip Marlowe private investigator novel set in the 1950s, which Robert Parker completed. In this story, Marlowe has a rich wife (shades of Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles) and has moved from Los Angeles to the wealthy community of Poodle Springs. Marlowe is hired by the area crime boss to track down a missing local man who has run out on a gambling debt. The plot unfolds with murder, blackmail, and a little bigamy. The story tends to have more talk than action, and Marlowe’s usual hard edges are soften a little, however, there is still deep intrigue and lots of snappy dialogue. Completing a story started by another is difficult, especially when it involves an estalished character, but Parker has done an impressive job in adapting to Chandler’s style and sense of humor. Parker is somewhat of an expert on Chandler’s character, his Doctorial dissertation was entitled — The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage and Urban Reality: A Study of the Private Eye in the novels of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald.

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