Quotes

Dead men

2 September 2014

Dead men are heavier than broken hearts

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

When I got home I mixed a stiff one

1 September 2014

When I got home I mixed a stiff one and stood by the open window in the living room and sipped it and listened to the groundswell of traffic on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and looked at the glare of the big angry city hanging over the shoulder of the hills through which the boulevard had been cut. Far off the banshee wail of police or fire sirens rose and fell, never for very long completely silent. Twenty four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him. Out there in the night of a thousand crimes, people were dying, being maimed, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy tires. People were being beaten, robbed, strangled, raped, and murdered. People were hungry, sick; bored, desperate with loneliness or remorse or fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs. A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness. It all depends on where you sit and what your own private score is. I didn’t have one. I didn’t care. I finished the drink and went to bed.

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

On Crime Fiction

31 August 2014

On Crime Fiction:

What greater prestige can a man like me have than to have taken a cheap, shoddy, and utterly lost kind of writing, and have made it something that intellectuals claw each other about?

Raymond Chandler and thanks to Bill for the tip.

I write in a sort of broken-down patois

30 August 2014

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 remain 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 and attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have.

Raymond Chandler

A few locks of dry white hair clung

29 August 2014

A few locks of dry white hair clung to his scalp, like wild flowers fighting for life on a bare rock.

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

I called him from a phone booth

28 August 2014

I called him from a phone booth. The voice that answered was fat. It wheezed softly, like the voice of a man who had just won a pie-eating contest.

Raymond Chandler

I was wearing my powder-blue suit

27 August 2014

It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark little clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

He had a battered face

26 August 2014

He had a battered face that looked as if it had been hit by everything but the bucket of a dragline. It was scarred, flattened, thickened, checkered, and welted. It was a face that had nothing to fear. Everything had been done to it that anybody could think of.

Raymond Chandler, Farewell My Lovely

I needed a drink

25 August 2014

I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.

Raymond Chandler, Farewell My Lovely

Even on Central Avenue

24 August 2014

Even on Central Avenue, not the quietest dressed street in the world, he looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.

Raymond Chandler, Farewell My Lovely

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