- Chandler, Raymond Thornton
- (1888-1959)A writer of detective fiction who, with Dashiell Hammett, was to establish an American literary genre that produced new cinematic forms (the film noir) and influenced popular language in the 1930s and 1940s, Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago but educated largely in England. Until 1912 he worked in the British Admiralty, but he returned to United States and established a home in Los Angeles, California. In 1917, Chandler joined the Canadian army and saw action in Europe. Returning to Los Angeles, he worked at an oil company until he was sacked in 1932 due to his drinking and womanizing. He turned instead to writing, selling his first short story to Black Mask in 1933. More short stories followed, and in 1939 his first novel, The Big Sleep, was published, followed by Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The High Window (1942), and The Lady in the Lake (1943). In these stories, his cynical, world-weary hero, Philip Marlowe, countered corruption and violence with resignation while maintaining his own personal integrity. As well as seeing his own books turned into films, Chandler began work on Hollywood scripts, including Double Indemnity (1944) and The Blue Dahlia (1946). After writing The Little Sister (1949), Chandler’s last Philip Marlowe novel was The Long Goodbye (1953). His last book was Playback (1958). In addition to novels, Chandler wrote articles for Atlantic Monthly and a brilliant essay on detective fiction, “The Simple Art of Murder” (1944).See also Cinema; Literature and theater.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.