“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

“They have roughed the language around as Shakespeare did …”

I came across a very nice website yesterday, via Twitter, which features Raymond Chandler on the subject of writing. This jumped out at me:
“The best writing in English today is done by Americans, but not in any purist tradition. They have roughed the language around as Shakespeare did and done it the violence of melodrama and the press box. They have knocked over tombs and sneered at the dead. Which is as it should be. There are too many dead men and there is too much talk about them.”
  For more in a similar vein, clickety-click here

3 comments:

Dana King said...

Thanks for this; great reading. The line you used here is the money quote, but I also like one right before it:

...make a story come alive with nothing but dialogue and concrete description.

Those are the writers I'll come back to again and again.

Declan Burke said...

There's a lot of good stuff there alright, Dana. You won't go far wrong with Chandler ...

Alyssa said...

This is cool!