Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye,
and Farewell, My Lovely
Daytime session: Friday, November 9, 1-3 p.m.
Evening session: Monday, November 5, 7:30-9:30 p.m. (This class will be held in Modern Times Coffee shop, at Politics & Prose. Light food and drink will be provided.)
Price: $40 ($35 members)
The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
Farewell My Lovely, Raymond Chandler
DVDs are also available from Politics & Prose
Raymond Chandler (1888 -1959) used the not-so-simple art of murder to rise from pulp fiction and become an American icon whose name, like Ernest Hemingway and Emily Dickinson, evokes a cultural sensibility. For Chandler, that means sun-splashed noir, a lone wolf conflicted hero in our treacherous modern world, a properly dressed cynicism cloaking our darkest and most redeeming desires, love and death and what that’s all worth. To quote one of today’s leading novelists Paul Auster: “Raymond Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since.”
This two-hour class will focus on three of Chandler’s most famous prose works: The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye and Farewell, My Lovely. Odds are, even if you haven’t read these novels, you’ve seen the movies. But go back to the prose. As another leading modern American author Jonathan Lethem says: “His books bear re-reading every few years.”
As we read these three books, we will get more than just great entertainment, a simple solution to yet another murder. We can glimpse the man and the forces he harnessed to shape our culture. Maybe we can find something to hold on to that will reveal not just how some fictional character died, but rather how we all live.
Who knows what we’ll find as we walk Raymond Chandler’s mean streets.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Italy awarded its 2004 Raymond Chandler medal to James Grady, honoring his more than a dozen novels and an equal number of short stories, including his first novel published when he was 24 that became the Robert Redford movie Three Days Of The Condor. Grady has worked as a U.S. Senate aide, an investigative reporter for syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, and a cultural columnist for AOL’s PoliticsDaily.com. He has freelanced for The New Republic, The Washington Post and Washingtonian Magazine, and has written for film icons like John Woo and Stephen Cannell. France awarded Grady’s career its Grand Prix du Roman Noir and Japan gave his last novel Mad Dogs the Baku Misu award for literature. For Politics & Prose, Grady has previously taught classes on Dashiell Hammett and James Cain.