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August 02, 2008

It's Old: Audio of Ian Fleming Interview of Raymond Chandler

The recording is old, but it hasn't been heard since originally recorded.

In case you care but didn't know, Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler were great friends and supporters of each other's works. When Ian Fleming decided to kill Bond (at the end of From Russia With Love, I think) due to indifferent sales and lackluster critical reception, it was his friend Raymond Chandler who convinced him there might be something in this barmy James Bond character yet, and if he just stuck with it, he might see some modest sales.


Interesting if you're a fan of either man, and especially if you're a fan of both. Be aware that Raymond Chandler was a genuine hard-case full-blown alcoholic,* and he decided to show up for the interview in his normal state, three sheets to the wind. He slurs and doesn't have much to say. Fleming is pretty clearly straining to carry both ends of the interview here.

* In writing one screenplay -- Double Indemnity, I think, but I could be wrong -- he was afflicted by his other big problem, writer's block, and so informed the producers "I can't write this sober, but I can write it drunk." To write the screenplay, he got falling-down drunk in the morning, and was taken by studio car to his bungalow, and typed out pages while getting drunker still through the day; at day's end, they loaded the insensate drunk into the car and drove him back home. And he followed this routine for a couple of months.

Thanks to Ray Midge.

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posted by Ace at 03:55 PM

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