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Posts Tagged ‘Raymond Chandler’

The Raymond Chandler Gimlet

Happy Birthday, Raymond Chandler!

In Follow Her Home, debut novelist Steph Cha drops a number of allusions to Chandler’s private detective novels. At one point, her character even references the gimlet recipe from my favorite Chandler novel.

To help you mix the literary cocktail this week, I caught up with Cha to get a recipe and review of the Raymond Chandler Gimlet.

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Why Haruki Murakami Translated ‘The Great Gatsby’

The great Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami once translated The Great Gatsby for Japanese readers. In Columbia University Press’ In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means anthology, you can read an essay he wrote about translating the book.

We’ve embedded the complete essay below. Murakami expressed his love for the novel, but also gave readers a peek into how he used his “imaginative powers as a novelist into play.” Just in time for the upcoming movie adaptation, read his thoughts about F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s novel. Here is an excerpt:

When someone asks, “Which three books have meant the most to you?” I can answer without having to think: The Great GatsbyFyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. All three have been indispensable to me (both as a reader and as a writer); yet if I were forced to select only one, I would unhesitatingly choose Gatsby. Had it not been for Fitzgerald’s novel, I would not be writing the kind of literature I am today (indeed, it is possible that I would not be writing at all, although that is neither here nor there) … Though slender in size for a full-length work, it served as a standard and a fixed point, an axis around which I was able to organize the many coordinates that make up the world of the novel.

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Penguin Book Covers Inspire Massive Wall Hanging

Inspired by Postcards from Penguin, a card collection based on classic Penguin book covers, one couple created a massive wall hanging tribute to their favorite books.

The couple posted the entire project on Reddit’s DIY section. In the photo set embedded above, you can explore the entire project from start to finish. Here’s more from the post:

We’re both huge book lovers, so we immediately began thinking of ways to use them in an interesting, decorative way … We tried various layouts, eventually deciding that a shifting color scheme would be the most aesthetically pleasing. We cherry-picked some titles that we were particularly fond of. Among them: The Catcher in the Rye, A Clockwork Orange, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Great Gatsby, and 1984. Among the authors: H.G. Wells, Roald Dahl, Raymond Chandler, and Graham Greene.

James Ellroy Publishes with Byliner Fiction

Novelist James Ellroy has published a $1.99 Byliner Fiction story about Fred Otash, a famous private detective and writer who made his reputation in Hollywood.

Follow this link to read an excerpt from “Shakedown,” Ellroy’s new story at Byliner Fiction. In the video embedded above, we interviewed Ellroy about his early writing career.

You can read the real-life Otash’s obituary at The Los Angeles Times: “Otash’s clients included entertainers Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Edward G. Robinson, Judy Garland, Lana Turner and Bette Davis, well-known lawyers such as F. Lee Bailey, Jerry Geisler and Melvin Belli, and both major political parties. Otash prowled Hollywood by night in a chauffeured Cadillac full of women he called ‘little sweeties,’ and much like a fictional private eye conjured up by Raymond Chandler, drank a quart of Scotch and smoked four packs of cigarettes a day.”

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John Banville to Revive Raymond Chandler’s Detective

Award winning novelist John Banville will write a new novel about Raymond Chandler‘s beloved private detective, Philip Marlowe. Henry Holt will publish the book in 2013 under Banville’s pen name, Benjamin Black.

Banville promises to create a “slightly surreal, or hyper-real, atmosphere” for the novel, exploring some of Marlowe’s Los Angeles. What do you think of this surprising turn for the novelist?

Here’s more about the title: “Along with Marlowe, Banville will bring back policeman Bernie Olds, the gumshoe’s good friend. The book will have an original plot and take place in the 1940s. The setting will remain in Bay City – Chandler’s fictional stand-in for Santa Monica, California – and feature Chandler’s hallmark noir ambience.”

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Raymond Chandler Blasts Alfred Hitchcock

The excellent Letters of Note site has posted a bitter note that private detective novelist Raymond Chandler mailed to Alfred Hitchcock, an angry sermon punctuated with this zippy line: “if you wanted something written in skim milk, why on earth did you bother to come to me in the first place?”

The letter focused on the script for Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (trailer embedded above), a book that Chandler helped adapt from a Patricia Highsmith novel. The eventual rewrites infuriated Chandler, producing this scathing letter.

Check it out: “What I cannot understand is your permitting a script which after all had some life and vitality to be reduced to such a flabby mass of clichés, a group of faceless characters, and the kind of dialogue every screen writer is taught not to write—the kind that says everything twice and leaves nothing to be implied by the actor or the camera.”

Rapture Reading: What’s the Last Book You Want To Read Before You Die?

What’s the last book you want to read before you die? This GalleyCat editor wants to cozy up with a copy of The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler.

Religious leader Harold Camping has decided that The Rapture will happen tomorrow–inspiring ten music critics to choose Last Song They Want to Hear Before They Die. Below, a few GalleyCat readers chipped in last book suggestions.

Here’s more from Camping’s site (cached, because the link has crashed): “The End off the World prediction for May 21st is spreading all over the internet, but it is not what you think it is.  The May 21st End of the World prediction only applies to those who will be saved on Judgment Day 2011 in the Rapture.  Those who aren’t saved in the May 21 Rapture will suffer a different fate, and an End of the World date 5 months after May 21st.”

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NaNoWriMo Tip #25: Relax with a Literary Drink

If you are working on your National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) manuscript on Thanksgiving, you must be a little stressed out about the time limit. Relax and enjoy a literary drink today–pick from this list of 20 writers’ favorite drinks.

Here’s Raymond Chandler‘s tasty gimlet recipe from The Long Goodbye: “We sat in the corner bar at Victor’s and drank gimlets. ‘They don’t know how to make them here,’ he said. ‘What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.’

This is our twenty-fifth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project.

Nancy Drew Celebrates Her 80th Anniversary

nancydrew227.jpgEver since this GalleyCat editor cracked a classic Nancy Drew book’s yellow spine in the 1980s, we’ve been hooked on detective stories–from the Hardy Boys to Paul Auster.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Nancy Drew expert Jennifer Fisher–celebrating the 80th anniversary of the world’s most famous girl detective (pictured in a fancy new edition). In 2000, Fisher founded Nancy Drew Sleuths, an organization of “American and international fans and scholars” dedicated to the 80-year-old detective. Fisher talked about the life of ghostwriters in the 1930s, fan conventions, and how authors can build community online and in the real world.

Press play below to listen.

Here’s an excerpt about the life of a Nancy Drew ghostwriter: “The first ghostwriter, Mildred Wirt Benson, she wrote 23 of the first 30 books. For this particular kind of work, the ghostwriters were paid a flat fee. The fee was actually the equivalent of several month’s salary for a couple of weeks of work. It was actually pretty good money for what the job was … she definitely had to work for that paycheck, especially in the mid-1930s when her first husband became an invalid–she really had to step up the output to help the family.”

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The Naked City, Literally

michellel'more.pngOn January 29, a team of burlesque performers will read pulp fiction classics straight “from Gotham’s seedy underbelly.” The readers will not be wearing any clothes.

The event is part of the “Naked Girls Reading” series that hosts performances around the country. GalleyCat caught up with founder Michelle L’amour (pictured via her NSFW site) to find out more about the bare-skinned literary event.

L’amour spoke of the pulp fiction show she hosted in Chicago recently: “We actually did ours as a brunch, we served pulp orange juice and other silly things like that. We read Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Nelson Algren. Algren is local to Chicago–I read the story, “How the Devil Comes Down Division Street” which is a really dark story.”

She continued: “We also had the audience pick their favorite cover and read those books … There was a book called “The Naked Diver,” with a woman on the front struggling with kelp. In the scene we read from this book, a guy was watching her struggle and discussing her body–rather than helping her.”

She concluded: “One of the most magical, moving events when we did poetry. I know it sounds kind of cliche, but I don’t think you hear poetry read aloud enough, especially by naked women. One of my other favorites was bedtime stories. I finished with ‘Goodnight Moon.’ It’s nice, but wrong, to read a children’s book to adults naked … I don’t think it works quite as well with men, but I don’t have a philosophical reason for that.”

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