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Raymond Chandler quotes (38)

A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.
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A really good detective never gets married.
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Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
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Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.
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An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence.
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At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.
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Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.
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Chess is the most elaborate waste of human intelligence outside of an advertising agency.
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Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say.
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From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
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Good critical writing is measured by the perception and evaluation of the subject; bad critical writing by the necessity of maintaining the professional standing of the critic.
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He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.
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He looked as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.
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I certainly admire people who do things.
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I do a great deal of research - particularly in the apartments of tall blondes.
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I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday.
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I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you didn't need a gun, you'd better take one along that worked.
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I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won't let himself get snotty about it.
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If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come.
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It is not a fragrant world.
Raymond Chandler   Category: Society

It is pretty obvious that the debasement of the human mind caused by a constant flow of fraudulent advertising is no trivial thing. There is more than one way to conquer a country.
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Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.
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She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.
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She jerked away from me like a startled fawn might, if I had a startled fawn and it jerked away from me.
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Television is just one more facet of that considerable segment of our society that never had any standard but the soft buck.
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The challenge of screenwriting is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement.
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The creative artist seems to be almost the only kind of man that you could never meet on neutral ground. You can only meet him as an artist. He sees nothing objectively because his own ego is always in the foreground of every picture.
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The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers.
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The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring.
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The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
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The minute you try to talk business with him he takes the attitude that he is a gentleman and a scholar, and the moment you try to approach him on the level of his moral integrity he starts to talk business.
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The moment a man begins to talk about technique that's proof that he is fresh out of ideas.
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The moment a man sets his thoughts down on paper, however secretly, he is in a sense writing for publication.
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The more you reason the less you create.
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The streets were dark with something more than night.
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When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split.
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When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.
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Woe, woe, woe... in a little while we shall all be dead. Therefore let us behave as though we were dead already.
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