"A solemn thriller is really rather a bore": Raymond Chandler speaks; Ian Fleming listens
Their mutual admiration is obvious, and Chandler in particular says much of interest. A few highlights:
"I don't think I ever in my own mind think anybody is a villain."That last was a reply to Fleming's astute question about the difficulty of creating an evil villain for whom the reader will not feel sorry because that villain is sick. One could write books (or at least blog posts) on each of several aspects of that exchange. For me, it reinfused Chandler with the harsh edge that time and nostalgia had stripped away. It also reminded me how thoroughly the notion of the mental had replaced that of the moral by the 1950s.
"A solemn thriller is really rather a bore."
"The private investigator is that catalyst, the man who resolved the situation. He doesn't exist in real life."
"It's almost impossible to imagine an absolutely bad man who is not a psychopath."
One caveat: The broadcaster who introduces the interview gets the date of Chandler's death wrong. It's March 26, 1959, not March 23.
© Peter Rozovsky 2008