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after murder park

I'm enjoying nearly every moment of reading The Raymond Chandler Papers - selected letters and non-fiction 1909-1959, which I must admit I wasn't quite expecting. Full of witty observations on things ranging from the excruciating nature of inevitable catastrophes (which made me think immediately of Magnolia), how to use slang, cats versus dogs, advice to Alfred Hitchcock, what to say to somebody when they ask you about your life and it's none of their damned business, and why the past is always greener. This is only halfway through. I've had to stop myself writing down page references - as Morrissey once sang, "oh I can't help quoting you / 'cause everything that you said rings true.".

I'd love to be able to dispense wisdom with such ease, especially in letters, although I suspect I'm falling into the old trap - like how (I forget where this comes from) when electric light first came in and was only afforded by the rich, candles were something commoners used. Nowadays, it's reversed - candles are a sign of class. So too with letters versus e-mail. We worship the idea of actually putting pen to paper, instead of hands to keyboard. No backspace. No block cut and paste, when we want to rearrange our thoughts. Just a stream of consciousness from here to eternity. I had a couple of penfriends during my teenage years, but I'd hate to remember what I wrote back then - a heady mixture of angst and Pink Floyd, or something similarly unpalatable. Despite the technological advances that make them easier to compose in what appears to be a well-thought out manner, my e-mails (even now) are little better, I must admit - I've always been better at answering questions (admittedly only in a less than verbose manner) rather than asking them. I suppose I could fill up a bit of time after the usual pleasantries by waffling on about whatever's on my mind, as Chandler did, but I get the feeling that each of my recipients would just shrug their shoulders and go "huh ?". Well, except for one, who's very good at asking me long, probing questions about my life, and I only wish I were able to write a similar amount of text when I reply, only I find it difficult to let myself surrender to verbosity.

* 21:10 * reading