During a period of twenty years--from his start as a young writer for H. L. Mencken's classic pulp magazine The Black Mask in the early 1930s, through the publication of his novels The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely, to his career as a Hollywood screenwriter in the 1940s--Raymond Chandler kept a series of private notebooks.
Drawn from those journals, The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler offers an intimate view of the writer at work, revealing early ideas, descriptions, and anecdotes that would later be used in The Long Goodbye, The Blue Dahlia, and other classics.
Filled with both public and private writings, The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler includes "Marlowesque" particulars such as pickpocket lingo, San Quentin jailhouse slang, a "Note on the Tommygun," and musings on "Craps." Here, too, are surprising, lesser known essays on Hollywood, the mystery story, British and American writing, and a wicked parody of Hemingway. This sampler--by turns whimsical, provocative, irreverent, and fascinating--also contains a list of possible story titles; "Chandlerisms;" and his short work "English Summer: A Gothic Romance," which the writer viewed as a turning point in his career.