Teaser Tuesdays: The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words, edited by Barry Day

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

chandler

Yes, it’s true, I just recently did a book beginning; but Chandler is just so quotable (thus this whole book, of course). I couldn’t let this one pass us by.

I write when I can and I don’t write when I can’t, always in the morning or the early part of the day. You get very gaudy ideas at night but they don’t stand up.

That first sentence is unclear: which condition happens always in the morning or the early part of the day? the can, or the can’t? I choose to believe that it is the can; many respected writers (ahem Hemingway) do or did their best work in the mornings. I am certainly a morning person myself. And I like this idea that our nighttime ideas are “gaudy”; I think that’s perfect. I get ideas at night, but they never stand up to sunlit scrutiny. What about you?

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

2 Responses

  1. I read it that he could write in the morning also. I’m very much a morning person these days, but that affects when the work gets done, not when the ideas come. Ideas come when they come — like melodies for a songwriter, the main thing is to make a note before they float away again.

    When I think of Hemingway and Chandler writing in the morning, the main thing that occurs to me is that they were both heavy drinkers. I remember reading about Hemingway’s time in Key West (IIRC), when he’d be up at dawn to write, and then he’d go out drinking with his cronies every night, though he’d usually call it an early night, compared to the rest, so as to be able to be up again to write. But it is difficult to imagine him coming home to write after that sort of night. Much more reasonable to sleep it off and then get up to write.

    • the ideas come when they come – Right! This is why we keep a pen & paper by the bed. And this is how I know my nighttime ideas are not up to daylight par. 🙂 Good points well taken all around. Yes, I’ve wondered about that hungover writing; I want to say here that Hemingway is one of several notable authors who followed that schedule, although I can’t name any others right now. Afternoon naps??

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