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.

2 comments:

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?
luff,
p