1888 Birth of Raymond Chandler
The English language owes much to American wordsmith Raymond Chandler who elevated the private eye into a cultural icon. Chandler was born in Nebraska to Maurice Chandler, an alcoholic father who soon abandoned his family, and Florence Dart, a devoted mother who had young Raymond educated at ritzy Dulwich College in England.
He served with a Canadian regiment during World War I but had difficulty finding his way in peacetime. Chandler had problems with alcohol, mommy issues, and holding a steady job. It was not until he was in his 40s that Chandler found his true métier, writing hard-boiled detective novels, a genre which he raised from pulp fiction to literary art. Gems like The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely, and The Long Goodbye were turned into films. [By all means revel in the cinematic delights of the first two mentioned, graced by Dick Powell and Humphrey Bogart — but, at all costs, avoid Robert Altman’s unforgivable 1973 desecration of the latter.]
Here are some great Chandler lines: