Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not a Shamus

I’m reading Raymond Chandler again. This time it’s “Farewell My Lovely.” I also acquired The Big Sleep, starring H. Bogart and Lauren Bacall. That is also good. Though it’s slightly harder to follow than the book. It’s a regular Raymond Chandler kniption I’m going through here.

I don’t know what it’s all about. (Besides my continuing retreat into film fantasy land—swear to god, I now replay and rethink and refeel some movies as if they were scenes from my own life.) (I need to get out more.) Maybe, though, I like this gumshoe-LA-broads-in-flouncy-dresses world because it’s so much like my own life and my own little Vienna. Phillip Marlowe dodges bullets. I worry about dodging shoes thrown by my Middle Eastern students. Every time Marlowe gets into a cab or a bookstore, it’s filled with curvy, yearningly available blondes. Everytime I get onto a bus, a big Turkish guy steps on my foot and grunts.

Here in this phase I’m having, I think, ‘It looks so cool when Bogart pulls on his ear. I oughta do that.’ But in Vienna, if I pulled on my ear every time I tried to have a thought, people would regard this as a schizophrenic symptom. Treatment would be recommended.

Phillip Marlowe untangles bizarre knots of happenstance, violence, greed and desire. I pull my ear as I try to figure out why the Viennese lapse into states of clinical depression when they see the first fallen leave of autumn.


davidwmsims said...

"The Big Sleep" is my desert island movie.

"I don't mind if you don't like my manners, I don't like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings."

So great.

Dashiell Hammett is also wonderful. Just read "The Thin Man" again, which is another stupendous movie.

pat said...

Why did I think you would be a Raymond Chandler fan? It makes perfect sense to me. I've got a secondhand copy of "The Glass Key" by Hammett. Is that any good?