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Stiff - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Stiff
As an addendum to my previous entry on Raymond Chandler's The High Window I offer the next passage in which Marlowe scans the photograph of the woman with the "cool dark eyes:"
I hung up and lit my pipe again and sat there looking at the wall. My face was stiff with thought, or with something that made my face stiff. I took Linda Murdock's photo out of my pocket, stared at it for a while, decided that the face was pretty commonplace after all, locked the photo away in my desk.
There's something about the way Chandler uses the word "something."

Mode: supplementary
Muse: Macbeth - Laibach - Macbeth

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Comments
kdotdammit From: kdotdammit Date: July 6th, 2004 08:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Stiff face?!

Yeah. Right. As if his face is the only thing that's stiff. Hmpf. That man is N*A*S*T*Y!
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: July 6th, 2004 11:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Stiff face?!

Yep. Hmpf indeed. When I read The Big Sleep, I got to be a little worried when I loved passages of Chandler's prose or bits of Marlowe's observation--because I always knew I'd soon come upon one of those women are pretty playthings to pretend I hate but get off on bits, or one of those gay-bashing bits, or one of those could my fear of my own impotence be more blatant bits, or...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 7th, 2004 09:35 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Stiff face?!

The misogyny of the hard-boiled novel is trickier than it seems, as your comment about "impotence" suggests. Part of me feels that it's better to have strong women with "go-to-hell" mouths portrayed as worthy adversaries than to have a less overtly sexist but more patronizing representation. At least the women in the hard-boiled novels I've read -- with the exception of Mickey Spillane, who is in a different category, for several reasons -- are complex characters with mixed feelings and the capacity to plan. Like men in other words.

Of course, there's a big difference between Marlowe and Chandler, since the latter was never really part of the former's world, best I can tell -- unlike Hammett -- and was so old when he started writing.

Ahh, the physical descriptions. Awesome.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: July 6th, 2004 11:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Stiff face?!

Yep. Hmpf indeed. When I read The Big Sleep, I got to be a little worried when I loved passages of Chandler's prose or bits of Marlowe's observation--because I always knew I'd soon come upon one of those women are pretty playthings to pretend I hate but get off on bits, or one of those gay-bashing bits, or one of those could my fear of my own impotence be more blatant bits, or...
4 comments or Leave a comment