Raymond Chandler turns 124 years old today, so I thought I'd bring back some old posts about his influence on crime writers beyond his own American (and English) borders.
our years ago the Los Angeles Times
asked writers what they would give Chandler as a birthday gift, but I'd like to discuss taking rather than giving, namely what other writers have taken from Philip Marlowe's great creator.
Two years ago, in a post called "Chandler in Souh Africa
," I noted Roger Smith's graceful extended tribute to Chandler in his novel Mixed Blood
Last year I discovered Claudio Nizzi, Massimo Bonfatti, and their loving, amused, and amusing tribute to Chandler (and just about every other crime, movie, and pop-culture trend) in their Leo Pulp
, Welsh-born and Jerusalem-based author of mysteries set in the Palestinian territories, told Detectives Beyond Borders that: "My primary interests in specifically detective writers are Chandler and Hammett." Moreover, he said the social chaos of the territories reminded him of the worlds those two authors portrayed so well: "In the lawlessness and the corruption of the police force – which is often involved with the gangs – I see many parallels with the San Francisco and Los Angeles of Hammett and Chandler."
In Ireland, Declan Hughes
invoked Chandler in discussing his own country's Celtic Tiger economic explosion and concurrent boom in crime and crime fiction: "The hardboiled novel always depended on boomtowns where money was to be made and corners to be cut: twenties San Francisco for Hammett, forties LA for Chandler.”
Also in Ireland, your humble blogkeeper noted the debt to Chandleresque plotting and wisecracking in Declan Burke
's first novel, Eightball Boogie. Colin Watson
's delightfully opinionated social history of English crime writing, Snobbery With Violence
, cites Chandler, who "never produced a dull line," for his observations about crime writing and English writers.
An afterword to Juan de Recacoechea
's Bolivian crime novel American Visa
noted the author's references to Chandler, Hammett, Chester Himes, and movies based on their work. I've also detected more than superficial signs of Chandler's influence in novels by Australia's Peter Corris
and noted the traces of Chandler some have found in the work of Algeria's Yasmina Khadra
. Finally, Chandler is one of many crime writers upon whom Australia's Garry Disher
muses in his wildly self-referential and wildly funny story "My Brother Jack."
And now it's your turn. What other crime writers
from outside the United States have felt Chandler's influence? How has the influence shown itself?
ate-breaking Chandler tribute: I've just read the following in William Campbell Gault's Murder in the Raw
(also published as Ring Around Rosa
"Well, what had I brought to this trade? Three years in the O.S.S. and my memories of a cop father. Along with a nodding acquaintanceship with maybe fifty lads in the Department. That didn’t make me any Philip Marlowe."
© Peter Rozovsky 2008, 2012
Labels: Colin Watson, Declan Burke, Declan Hughes, Garry Disher, Juan de Recacoechea, Matt Beynon Rees, Peter Corris, Raymond Chandler, Yasmina Khadra