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Picture Post, o replică britanică a LIFE Magazine, i-a trimis acum o jumătate de veac agentului lui Chandler (Edgar Carter) o invitaţie de interviu pentru acest titan al genului noir. Chandler s-a arătat scandalizat, în sensul comic, de incapacitatea celor de la Picture Post de a distinge între obositorul, veşnicul şi clişeisticul raport arhidezbătut între personaje şi autor. Lui Chandler întrebările i s-au părut bătute în cap, aşa că a refuzat interviul, dar s-a scuzat într-un mod abil şi autoironic faţă de agentul lui. Era, ce-i drept, şi o vreme în care, atunci când nu te ocupai de propria literatură, te foloseai de acest simulacru al confesiunii, scrisoarea. Corespondenţa a fost publicată anterior de American Reader.

Nu mai încape îndoială, pe celuloză gândurile făceau tumbe.


Raymond Chandler şi Taki


To Edgar Carter

February 5, 1951

Dear Eddie,

The Picture Post
is for people who move their lips when they read. Surely they can get anything they want from my English publisher, Hamish Hamilton, Ltd., 90 Great Russell Street, London, W.C. 1. The questions you quote would seem to me indicate the intellectual level of the editorial department of the Picture Post. Yes, I am exactly like the characters in my books. I am very tough and have been known to break a Vienna roll with my bare hands. I am very handsome, have a powerful physique, and change my shirt regularly every Monday morning. When resting between assignments I live in a French Provincial chateau of Mulholland Drive. It is a fairly small place of forty-eight rooms and fifty-nine baths. I dine off gold plate and prefer to be waited on by naked dancing girls. But of course there are times when I have to grow a beard and hole up in a Main Street flophouse, and there are other times when I am, although not by request, entertained in the drunk tank in the city jail. I have friends from all walks of life. Some are highly educated and some talk like Darryl Zanuck [head of 20th Century Fox]. I have fourteen telephones on my desk, including direct lines to New York, London, Paris, rome, and Santa Rosa. My filing case opens out into a very convenient portable bar, and the bartender, who lives in the bottom drawer, is a midget named Harry Cohn [head of Columbia Pictures]. I am a heavy smoker and according to my mood I smoke tobacco, marijuana, corn silk, and dried tea leaves. I do a great deal of research, especially in the apartments of tall blondes. I get my material in various ways, but my favorite procedure (sometimes known as the Jerry Wald system), consists of going through the desks of other writers after hours (referring to other writers of Warner Brothers Studio). I am thirty-eight years old and have been for the last twenty years. I do not regard myself as a dead shot, but I am a pretty dangerous man with a wet towel. But all in all I think my favorite weapon is a twenty dollar bill. In my spare time I collect elephants.

Yours respectfully,

Raymond Chandler


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