In this second episode (27 minutes), we discuss Chandler’s ups and downs with Hollywood and his indirect role as crime fiction’s leader. Williams shares some of the stand out moments (and archival gems) in writing Chandler's biography as well as his favourite on-screen Marlowe.
Next time, California’s Spanish Missions.
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The Big Sleep, Farewell my Lovely, the Long Goodbye….novels which constitute an integral part to the canon of crime fiction, all penned by Raymond Chandler. Chandler, a US citizen brought up in the UK, had a number of professions before taking up writing at the age of 44. Chandler churned out a number of novels, introducing the literary world to the character Philip Marlowe, private detective.
Tom Williams, author of A Mysterious Something in the Light, spent six years researching Chandler’s life and provides an intimate look into Chandler’s life, his stories and his influence.
In this first episode (28 minutes) of two, Williams provides the context of Chandler’s writing, giving an exhaustive overview of Chandler’s complex personal life, his relationships and his increasing alcoholism, which led to his sacking and launched his writing career en vrai. Williams also discusses Los Angeles’s state of corruption during this time, which served as an important backdrop for Chandler’s writing. Williams also touches on how Chandler developed and wrote his novels.
Episode two will be aired about 20 February, covering Chandler’s relationship with Hollywood as a screen writer and his role as torchbearer for crime fiction, with his essay "The Simple Art of Murder". In addition, Williams discusses how he became involved with Chandler’s work, the thrill of going through Chandler’s archives in Oxford and at UCLA, Chandler and the development of Los Angeles and his favourite on-screen Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould).
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