I posted this delightful and fascinating conversation between Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming on Facebook this morning and had so many fun interactions with folks I wanted to put it here too.
I’d never heard the exchange before it makes me love them both even more (Fleming such the adoring protegee, Chandler such the kind mentor). In it, Chandler speaks of beginning to write the eighth Marlowe novel, Poodle Springs, which had Marlowe marrying Linda Loring (the love interest from The Long Goodbye, if you don’t count Terry Lennox, which I do) would go unfinished (later “finished” by Robert B. Parker). Chandler died the following year.
There are some real gems in here–Chandler asking Fleming why he always has to have a torture scene, and Fleming’s response; Chandler’s comment that he never felt any of his characters were villains.
But of special interest to me was Chandler’s utterly charming response when Fleming suggests, about 20 minutes in, that if the book isn’t going well, he could always kill off Linda.
“Kill her?” Chandler says. “Oh no, she’s too nice …. Much too nice to kill off.”
And the way he says it, with such warmth. Well. It’s wonderful.