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Although Chandler's primary topic is the art and failings of detective fiction, he touches on general literature and modern society as well. The opening statement — "Fiction in any form has always intended to be realistic" — places Chandler in a lineage with earlier American Realists , in particular Mark Twain and his critique of James Fenimore Cooper , " Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses ".

The Simple Art of Murder Summary & Study Guide Description

Chandler dissects A. Bentley , and Freeman Wills Crofts. The classic detective story "has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.


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Chandler reserves his praise for Dashiell Hammett. Although Chandler and Hammett were contemporaries and grouped as the founders of the hard-boiled school, Chandler speaks of Hammett as the "one individual Chandler concludes his essay by moving from reality in literature to reality itself, "a world in which gangsters can rule nations and almost rule cities Early in the telemovie Miss Marple says, "There is never anything simple about murder.

His full canon of novels and short stories is reprinted in trade paper featuring uniform covers in Black Lizard's signature style.

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  • The King in Yellow. Pearls Are a Nuisance. Undoubtedly the stories about them had a fantastic element. Such things happened, but not so rapidly, nor to so close-nit a group of people, now within so narrow a frame of logic.

    Raymond Chandler. The Simple Art of Murder

    This was inevitable because the demand was for constant action; if you stopped to think you were lost. When in doubt have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand. A writer who is afraid to overreach himself is as useless as a general who is afraid to be wrong. As I look back on my stories it would be absurd not to wish they had been better As for the literary quality of these exhibits I need not be sickeningly humble. As a Writer I have never been able to take myself with that enormous earnestness which is one of the trying characteristics of the craft.

    The Simple Art of Murder

    There are those who hate it in all its forms. Such a handsome man, too!

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    There are those who read it only when they are tired or sick, and, from the number of mystery novels they consume, they must be tired and sick most of the time. The former demand a group plan of Greythorpe Manor, showing the study, the gun room, the main hall and staircase and the passage to that grim little room where the butler polishes the Georgian silver, thin-lipped and silent, hearing the murmur of doom.

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    The latter think the shortest distance between two points is from a blonde to a bed. No writer can please them all, no writer should try The mystery story is a kind of writing that need not dwell in the shadow of the past and owes little of its allegiance to the cult of classics Not one. Within its frame of reference, which is the only way it should be judged, a classic is a piece of writing which exhausts the possibilities of its form and can hardly be surpassed.

    No story or novel of mystery has done that yet.

    Few have come close.