Sunday, 24 May 2009
A couple of weeks ago I shocked the blogosphere by admitting a huge deficit in my crime fiction reading. Well, maybe not the blogosphere. More like five people, I'd estimate, but I'm a fan of hyperbole.
Anyway, Penguin's imprint, Hamish Hamilton, stepped in to help me out by sending five GORGEOUS Raymond Chandler books. I'm halfway through the Big Sleep right now and feel compelled to blog a little about a line or three I read today.
"... but a pansy has no iron in his bones, whatever he looks like."
"He was like Caesar, a husband to women and a wife to men."
"Go -- yourself."
It struck me as an interesting sign of the times. Chandler didn't drop the F-bomb in The Big Sleep, yet he had no problem with Marlowe's sweeping statements about pansies and using another deeply offensive and homophobic F-word. And it made me wonder, fifty years from now, what will readers of the future classics (I'm thinking Bruen, McKinty, Bateman, McGilloway and all my favourites) pick out as bizarre and dated?