The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

July 23, 2010

Got Books? Contest - Raymond Chandler's Birthday

This weekend sees the first Got Books? event. With over 100 book bloggers signed up for the occasion, it promises to be a dandy.  Be sure to drop over there sometime today and check out all the swag (books!!) they're giving away in their kick-off event. I've donated a signed hardback of Rosemary Harris's Dead Head as my mite, and anyone in any country is eligible to win it. So head over there in just a bit and read the rules. Also I have another contest starting here today, so read on.

Today marks the 122nd anniversary of the birth of Raymond Chandler. Before Chandler in turn gave birth to Philip Marlowe, fans of detective fiction had the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple in novel form - all veddy clean, veddy tidy, veddy English murders and solutions. Oh, sure, there was also Sam Spade and the Contintental Op, but for the most part, the seedier side of private investigating was confined to the pulps with their wonderfully lurid covers. Out of that fertile ground sprung Chandler and nowadays what is there left to say about the man and his work?

So I won't try to say it. I'd rather - and he'd be in agreement - let his work speak for itself. Here are some of my favorite lines from Chandler's books and also from his own lips.
A really good detective never gets married. (Do you hear that, Elvis Cole?)

Good critical writing is measured by the perception and evaluation of the subject; bad critical writing by the necessity of maintaining the professional standing of the critic.

The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring. 

But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. (The Simple Art of Murder)

I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.   (Farewell, My Lovely)

All men who read escape from something else into what lies behind the printed page; the quality of the dream may be argued, but its release has become a functional necessity.

Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. (The Big Sleep)
I could go on and on quoting Chandler but I hinted at a contest in the title of this post, didn't I? Here it is: Post your own favorite Chandler quote in a comment. (One entry per commenter. Multiple entries will not be counted, although you're free to comment or quote as much as you like.) Come Monday morning (the 26th), I will select one response at random. That person will receive a $25 gift certificate from an independent mystery bookstore. Best of luck to yez!

40 comments:

  1. "From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away. " Love love that quote, it makes me laugh a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really loved "Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production. "

    What a great quote. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    dragonzgoil at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. "

    twilightforever.edward(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.

    tiffanyniekro at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  5. My favorite quote "The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring."

    While I look around this room full of TBR books. That's why I blog -- so I can savor the book I just read.
    bmcbroom @ gmail.com

    Had to delete last comment, forgot my email addy

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like this one: "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."

    Amy S.
    artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. "A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled."
    Raymond Chandler

    Thanks,
    Shishito, shishito85 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lydia, I love that quote, too. So snarky!

    Shishito, I think Chandler really nailed it with that one.

    Good luck to all of you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I liked such alot of guns around this town and so few brains.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. "It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in."

    crazypplrok@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. "The streets were dark with something more than night." Very ominous!

    xicecreamsjx@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. The more you reason the less you create.

    zenfoxflowerATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really like this quote from The Lady in the Lake:

    “He stopped in front of mine and unlocked the door and gave me the hard stare they think they have to wear on their pans forever and forever and forever. I’m a cop, brother, I’m tough, watch your step, brother, or we’ll fix you up so you’ll crawl on your hands and knees, brother, snap out of it, brother, let’s get a load of truth, brother, let’s go, and let’s not forget we’re tough guys, we’re cops, and we do what we like with punks like you.”

    Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I certainly admire people who do things.

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. "If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come. "

    Courtney
    stilettostorytime(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. "When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split."
    Raymond Chandler


    Dollycas
    dollycas79 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Stopping by to say HI, hope you have a great blog hopping weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

    Thanks for the great contest.

    Crystal816[at]hotmai[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  19. This one has been chosen a lot already. But it is still my favorite Chandler quote:

    "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."

    kmartin802 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like this one too:

    Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. (The Big Sleep)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Joy G Lee G @ aol. com (remove spaces)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like:

    Chess is the most elaborate waste of human intelligence outside of an advertising agency.

    I could never achieve enthusiasm for chess (even though I once belonged to the chess club in high school - it was short-lived).

    akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  22. The more you reason the less you create.

    Pam S
    pams00@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you didn't need a gun, you'd better take one along that worked.
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the contribution to the Got Books? Event! Have a great weekend...and happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Carol M, that's one of my favorites, too. In fact, any time Chandler wrote anything about a gun, I pretty much liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

    vidishamun@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I've had so much fun reading all of these quotes!!!!!

    I think my favorite is: The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring.

    Emily ebdye1(at)gmail

    ReplyDelete
  28. A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.

    Truer words have never been spoken.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. The more you reason the less you create.

    It's always important to create.

    suefitz(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

    Thanks!
    caliblue7 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. "The more you reason the less you create"

    Simple, but so true ;p

    darlyn225 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. One of the coarser quotes I like is:
    "I felt like an amputated leg." from Trouble Is My Business

    One of the lovier quotes I like is:
    "The minutes went by on toptoe, with their fingers to their lips." from The Lady in the Lake

    Thanks for the Chandler tribute and the chance at a great giveaway!

    waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Favorite quote - Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

    Please include me in your giveaway.
    Thanks
    Debbie D
    debdesk9(at)verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a response! Clearly I need to run contests more often. Thanks to all of you who've chimed in so far.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love this one: "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." I think we will use this with our hockey team!
    epblack at zoominternet dot net

    ReplyDelete
  36. I know everyone's picked this one but I've always liked it...
    "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."

    thanks for the giveaway!

    brigneti(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I really like: "The more you reason the less you create."

    infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. "An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence."

    pinkpeonyblossom at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Fabulous giveaway and opportunity! Just wanted to stop by and say thank you so much for hosting your giveaway and for being a part of Got Books?!

    ReplyDelete
  40. A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.
    kstarzrock at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete