- Gebundene Ausgabe: 2275 Seiten
- Verlag: Library of America; Auflage: Box (6. März 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1598533193
- ISBN-13: 978-1598533194
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 18 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,7 x 7,6 x 21,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 31.463 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Raymond Chandler: The Library of America Edition (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 6. März 2014
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"This two-volume set covers the full canon of Chandler's work, from early pulp stories to all the Marlowe novels, the screenplay for Double Indemnity, and essays on the mystery genre plus the usual Library of America goodies such as notes on the text and a chronology of the author's life."
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
FRANK MACSHANE (1927-1999) was a literary biographer who specialized in writers who, as he described them, had “substantial followings and many enthusiastic champions” but who were not “automatically accepted into the highest literary rank.” He is the author of The Life of Raymond Chandler and Raymond Chandler: A Bibliography, as well as biographies of Ford Maddox Ford, John O’Hara, and James Jones.
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The early works (1934-1941) are flush with the sometimes risky metaphors and aphorisms which are a captivating part of the Chandler magic. The stories in themselves are fast, exciting reading. Moreover, they offer an interesting example of the growth of an author, for here the literary gumshoe can detect episodes and scenes which were expanded and utilized (Chandler preferred the term "cannibalized") in his later novels. Here also is the genesis of a new type of hero, who'd rather help the naughty lady in shady lane than going for the easy dough. Although he may masquerade under other names and in different guises in the stories, he is already Philip Marlowe. Of his seven novels, three are masterpieces:
The Big Sleep (1939) is the first novel to feature the private-eye Philip Marlowe, and is derived from two short stories, "Killer in the Rain" and "The Curtain." Marlowe introduces himself to his client General Sternwood, "When you hire a boy in my line of work, it isn't like hiring a window-washer and showing him eight windows and saying: 'Wash those and you're through.' You don't know what I have to go through or over or under to do your job for you. I do it my way. I do my best to protect your job for you and I may break a few rules, but I break them in your favor. The client comes first, unless he's crooked." This is the entire hard-boiled code in a nutshell, Marlowe practices a creed taken directly from the celebrated Hemingway-Code. From such a worldview and social stance derive the manner of conduct, the character configuration, and the style which manifest the 'toughness' that gives the entire mode of writing its name. There's another example, as Marlowe entered the Sternwood mansion he looked up to see, on a stained-glass panel, a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree. The lady was without clothes, but she was wearing long and convenient hair. The plot is infamously complex and sometimes hard to follow, with many characters all double-crossing and triple-crossing each other. One could argue that his plots were not perfectly worked out, but who the heck cares about plot when reading Chandler? Consequently the dénouement in The Big Sleep is not entirely successful, because it comes from surprise not development, and because the villainess is ill rather than criminal.
Farewell My Lovely (1940) begins with Marlowe being hired by an ex-con called 'Moose' Malloy, big as a beer truck and fresh out of a correctional facility to put in bureaucatese. Malloy wants the detective to find his old showgirl sweetheart, Velma Valento. Marlowe accepts and starts off by trying to find out who ran the club where Velma used to perform. However, the owner has died and his alcoholic widow says she does not remember anyone called Velma. Back in his office, Marlowe is offered another job. A rich fop named Marriott needs his protection for a trip out of town because he wants to buy back his girlfriend's stolen jewelry. At the remote rendezvous place Marlowe is knocked unconscious, Marriott is killed and the money, of course is stolen. Having already been paid, Marlowe decides to go ahead and solve the crimes. The plot thickens and the dénouement is a surprise that will twirl your turban. Here, Marlowe is further from being a stock pulp hero than before. This novel is an improvement because the focus is clearer. In Big Sleep Chandler's indignation is generalized in a dislike for the rich, but here he concentrates on Bay City in which the extent of corruption in California life is more vividly demonstrated.
The Long Goodbye (1953) demonstrates how Chandler intended to put all of himself into the story, he knew it was his last chance to do so. It is of course a detective story, but the central theme is the need for love and friendship. The story begins with Marlowe finding a man drunk, "plastered to the hairline" outside an LA nightclub in a Rolls Royce. When the man's wife drives off in disgust, leaving the man (Terry Lennox) in the gutter, Marlowe decides to give him a hand. About three months later, Lennox walks into Marlowe's thinking parlor, smart and sober, inviting him for a drink. They get on well, and one early morning, Lennox shows up at Marlowe's house in trouble and begs the detective to drive him to Tijuana, he needs to get out of the country. Marlowe does so and upon his return is arrested by the police. As Marlowe refuses to rat on Lennox he's thrown into the felony tank. Lennox's wealthy wife had been murdered the night before, and her runaway husband is the chief suspect. The story doesn't end here, of course, it is both longer and more ambitious than any other Marlowe novel, and considered by many as Chandler's best. Several critics have observed to what astonishing degree Marlowe became a real person to Chandler. The mass of details suggest that he was more deeply involved with his character than he had been in the earlier books. Marlowe was not an extension of Chandler, although they had certain characteristics in common, like their loneliness and social isolation and their individualistic moral positions.
In these novels Chandler gives a richness and fullness to his style without any gradations of class and milieu and speech and diction. For these reasons, Chandler, through Marlowe, succeeds as no one else has succeeded in portraying Los Angeles and it seems at times that it is neither the violence nor the solution of a mystery Chandler is interested in as it is the city and its people, through the whole range of which - in solution of the crime - Marlowe moves. Yet, though heroic, tough and wise, he is a sad character. For all the personal life he has and the people he can trust, he might as well live in the wilderness. He is a lonely figure, a man without personal life. His adventures always end with his return to the "blank wall in a meaningless room in a meaningless house."
I would like to use the opportunity to praise the non-profit publisher Library of America for a product of high quality and good taste combined with a very affordable price. As the thin paper will not turn yellow or become brittle, the books will last generations. Each volume is bound with the grain of the paper to ensure that it opens easily to lie flat without crinkling or buckling. The edition includes a very helpful chronology of the author's life and career, selected letters and essays and an extensive textual apparatus.
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Excellent writing, superb storytelling and vivid characterizations of Southern California, and particularly LA in the late 30' though the early the 50's. As a child, I lived in the many of the areas Chandler wrote about, and his descriptions of the sites, sounds, smells, life styles, manner of dress, social structure and manner of speaking brought back many childhood memories. His plots tend to be complex; he's a great read for those who enjoy trying to solve mysteries, as well as those who just like to go with the flow of the story.
By the way, this is an $80 value at quite a low price.
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