Top 33 Raymond Chandler quotes
He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.
The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
Television is just one more facet of that considerable segment of our society that never had any standard but the soft buck.
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.
Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.
I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won't let himself get snotty about it.
She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.
It is not a fragrant world.
When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.
The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring.
From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say.
She jerked away from me like a startled fawn might, if I had a startled fawn and it jerked away from me.
I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you didn't need a gun, you'd better take one along that worked.
I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday.
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.
The creative artist seems to be almost the only kind of man that you could never meet on neutral ground. You can only meet him as an artist. He sees nothing objectively because his own ego is always in the foreground of every picture.
At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.
Woe, woe, woe... in a little while we shall all be dead. Therefore let us behave as though we were dead already.
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.
A really good detective never gets married.
A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.
The streets were dark with something more than night.
The more you reason the less you create.
I do a great deal of research - particularly in the apartments of tall blondes.
The moment a man begins to talk about technique that's proof that he is fresh out of ideas.
An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence.
I certainly admire people who do things.
The challenge of screenwriting is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement.
Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.
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.
The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers.
The moment a man sets his thoughts down on paper, however secretly, he is in a sense writing for publication.
Raymond Chandler essays
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