Quote of the Week: Raymond Chandler, "No Dull Subjects"

I've been rereading "The Simple Art of Murder," Raymond Chandler's essay on the state of mystery fiction as it was in 1944. It's a super interesting piece. While some of the writers he references are no longer widely read -- or even read at all -- most of what he shares here is entirely thought-provoking and worthy of sharing.

I could pull a dozen quotes from this super piece. Two dozen. It's a little bizarre to me that so much of this essay resonates over 60 years after it was written. Here, however, is a single thought, one of the many from this piece that seems to have picked up absolutely no dust:

"As for 'literature of expression' and 'literature of escape' -- this is critics' jargon, a use of abstract words as if they had absolute meanings. Everything written with vitality expresses that vitality: there are no dull subjects, only dull minds."

Hoo yeah.

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Comment by Clifford Royal Johns on October 22, 2007 at 6:13am
Chandler is one author who I like to reread. I read this essay three or four years back, and it encouraged my interest in writing in the mystery genere. Perhaps I should go back and reread it.

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