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 :: 1888-1959, American Author

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A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Story and Story-Telling]

 

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A good title is the title of a successful book.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Books and Reading]

 

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A really good detective never gets married.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Police]

 

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Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Alcohol and Alcoholism]

 

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An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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Any man who can write a page of living prose adds something to our life, and the man who can, as I can, is surely the last to resent someone who can do it even better. An artist cannot deny art, nor would he want to. A lover cannot deny love.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Writers and Writing]

 

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At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Books and Reading]

 

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Common sense always speaks too late. Common sense is the guy who tells you ought to have had your brakes relined last week before you smashed a front end this week. Common sense is the Monday morning quarterback who could have won the ball game if he had been on the team. But he never is. He's high up in the stands with a flask on his hip. Common sense is the little man in a gray suit who never makes a mistake in addition. But it's always somebody else's money he's adding up.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Common Sense]

 

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Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid... He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Heroes and Heroism]

 

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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.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Critics and Criticism]

 

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He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Appearance]

 

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However toplofty and idealistic a man may be, he can always rationalize his right to earn money.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Money]

 

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I said something which gave you to think I hated cats. But gad, sir, I am one of the most fanatical cat lovers in the business. If you hate them, I may learn to hate you. If your allergies hate them, I will tolerate the situation to the best of my ability.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Cats]

 

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I've found that there are only two kinds that are any good: slang that has established itself in the language, and slang that you make up yourself. Everything else is apt to be passT before it gets into print.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Slang]

 

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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.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Hollywood]

 

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In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism. All this stuff you read about men yelling and screaming, beating against the bars, running spoons along them, guards rushing in with clubs -- all that is for the big house. A good jail is one of the quietest places in the world. Life in jail is in suspension.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Prison]

 

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It is a mass language only in the same sense that its baseball slang is born of baseball players. That is, it is a language which is being molded by writers to do delicate things and yet be within the grasp of superficially educated people. It is not a natural growth, much as its proletarian writers would like to think so. But compared with it at its best, English has reached the Alexandrian stage of formalism and decay.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Language]

 

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It is pretty obvious that the debasement of the human mind caused by a constant flow of fraudulent advertising is no trivial thing. There is more than one way to conquer a country.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Advertising]

 

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It is wrong to be harsh with the New York critics, unless one admits in the same breath that it is a condition of their existence that they should write entertainingly about something which is rarely worth writing about at all.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Critics and Criticism]

 

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It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.
~ Raymond Chandler - [Glamour]

 

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