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ENGL 324 (22)

Crime Fiction 8

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English (Arts)
ENGL 324
Thomas Heise

an 27 Big Sleep - physical terrain of LA - massive, sprawling city. has the shape of most new cities, but this was the first major metropolitan city designed like this. - all other cities older than LA were different: this is a city to be navigated by automobile - tremendously rich variation in the coastline - canyons, cliffs, beach, desert etc. - so many variations in landform, and In a Lonely Place makes good use of this to set the tone of the story - this is sort of simple, though: think about the city of LA as representing a challenge to Chandler and Hughes in terms of how one conceptually navigates it/plots it - everything is tied together - Fredric Jameson "On Raymond Chandler" > he wrote something later about how Chandler is "cognitively mapping" a social or physical terrain - he's trying to map it mentally to understand how all these sites are connected to each other - a map of Eddie Mars, gambling, porn, police department, bunker hill, downtown, the coast, etc etc. it's a giant web of interwoven lines - there are scenes where marlowe drives around in his car, which helps you experience the map - he thought that LA was big enough to explore without running into people who knows, but Chandler also despised LA because it's almost too anonymous - 31-32 in the big sleep: he's just driving around - in city of glass, there is a list of where the protagonist walks. it's basically a google maps itinerary. it's about two pages long, and it's deliberately banal. it's not decorative or dotted with figurative language, it's just a map - this is kind of an in joke of the genre by the time you get to Auster - mental mapping comes from Kevin Smith (the image of the city: about how you locate yourself in space, how you tell where you are physically in a city) - the city is a kind of labyrinth: you never know where you're standing - the decorative way of the murder serves as a way to organize plotless material - Mona Simpson is the one who unties Marlowe, later in the book - figurative language of knots: "talking in circles? nah, it all ties together." - everything is knotted, and the detective served to untangle everything and tie it back together properly - this is making a very dark world more legible to us. make something opaque understandable. - lots of ethnic references again - freudian stages that they're fixed in - Carmen is constantly infantalized, because she sucks her thumb a lot, etc - she's infantalized both by men in the book and by Chandler himself - if she desires something, she just goes after it In a Lonely Place - read the afterward - told from the point of view of a serial killer - this is a particular branch of
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