"He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull."
Coincidence? Maybe. But Raymond Chandler (and Dashiell Hammett) did not spring like Athena from Zeus' head, fully grown, armed, and ready for the fight. In some of Hammett's early stories especially, traces remain of the genteel English detective stories of which the hard-boiled school is the reputed antithesis.
Did Chandler read Conrad? If so, what he take from the experience? It's probably easy to find discussions of Marlow as the moral center of Conrad's work and hence an apt choice for the name (with an e added) of Chandler's protagonist. But maybe Chandler liked Conrad's prose style, too.
© Peter Rozovsky 2010