Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Raymond Chandler on Literature

Raymond Chandler on literature:

When a book, any sort of book reaches a certain intensity of artistic performance it becomes literature. That intensity may be a matter of style, situation, character, emotional tone, or idea, or half a dozen other things. It may also be a perfection of control over the movement of a story similar to the control a great pitcher has over the ball. Every page throws the hook for the next. I call this a kind of genius.

(From a letter by Raymond Chandler to Earl Stanley Gardner.)


Suko said...

I agree; it is a kind of genius.

Jonathon Miller said...

So how do we know when it has reached that level of intensity?

Anonymous said...

I believe you're getting close when the work is polished.

Greg Gutierrez
Zen and the Art of Surfing

bookface said...

Interesting. The line between what's literature and what's not can be pretty blurry. I always wonder what defines the section in book stores. Thanks for this.

LadyNagorm said...

Very true, but it makes me wonder what gets you
to the right intensity.

Anonymous said...

Hi kate
I think I have read his autobiography. Whitcoulls has it online as a free ebook I think.
Anyhow it was quite good in my opinion
-Maggie S