Homage To Raymond (You Said It All, And Less)

Approximation of 'Double Indemnity', or at least the essence (I know the screenwriting credits were shared with Billy Wilder, but it's got Chandler's prints all over it) : Mrs. Dietrichson:"I didn't know I loved you til now." Neff; "Since when?" Mrs Dietrichson: "When I couldn't pull the trigger the second time."

'The Big Sleep'.....
Philip Marlowe: I could make it my business. Eddie Mars: I could make your business mine. Philip Marlowe: Oh, you wouldn't like it. The pay's too small. ... ...

I watched 'Double Indemnity' again last night. And Raymond, (may I call you Raymond, Mr. Chandler?) it reminded me of why I am here, and that this keyboard holds me like a dark and awful pagan fetish in an approximation of conjugal torture, taking my love and repaying it with a sweet but lonely pain. Dancing on my bent and wearied back with high-arched, exquisite feet encased in the delicate straps of stiletto-heeled....

(Mr. Chandler to Howlett: Enough, damn it! All right, Lenny. First off, I was almost okay with Raymond til you went off on that sick tangent. It's Mr. Chandler from now on, and that applies to you and James M. Cain, too. Like I told Alfred Knopff's wife when we were all alive, I didn't like the guy or his writing. And he's even more of a pain now that I can't get away from him, especially when he's drunk. Even more when I'm drunk, too. And since it's always Happy Hour in Eternity....Well, I should have called it "The Big Mumble." And as for the Lit Moll that comes around, imploring you to write, and convincing you you're a little something more than nothing, don't get any unique ideas. There aren't any. Did she tell you that you're cute, too? You knew that was a lie. She's a myopic little liar. She's got a lot of stops on her route. )

I'm sorry, uh, Mr. Chandler. Anything else?

(Yeah. Spend more of your time shutting the hell up. Kill more people, and have the others talk less unless they got something to say. Which they, like you, rarely do. Off to the side: 'Noira, Baby. Fix me a drink.'

Noira? Who's that?

(Who do you think?)

It's Her? It is Her, isn't it? The Dark Dame. She's really yours?

(Lenny, lenny, whose would She be?)

(Noira: Back to work, Lenny. I might, that is, might, drop by for a few minutes if Ray says it's ok.)

(Get me that drink, Babe. I think Cain's at the door. Tell him I still ain't home. By, Lenny.)

I think when I read the great ones that too many writers have too much to say and not enough to show through action in the story. Chandler was the master at this and he also made his discourse terse and amusing, and I never went away feeling my time was wasted. Even when it translated to the screen and the storyline got confused as in, 'The Big Sleep,' I was still fascinated by the interaction of the characters. Even Bacall, when she sang, was fascinating. Terrible, half a step flat, but fascinating.

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