“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”

~ Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely

There are two kinds of truth…


“There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is dependent of the other or more important than the other…The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.”

Chandler, Raymond. “Great Thought.” The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler and English Summer.  New York: Ecco, 1976. Print.

Chandler’s detective novels, like any good mystery writing, keep the readers guessing and constantly challenge readers’ skills of detection.  The detective novel in general requires that the reader store all information tentatively. The reader relies on anticipation and retrospection, trying to read the minds of characters, figure out motives, and scrutinize statements.  Although these processes seem highly specialized to the genre, some would argue that they underlie the reading of all literature. Detective fiction simply exaggerates the processes of interpretation, making it useful for developing critical models concerned with the mind.