Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Ian Fleming - Raymond Chandler Podcast

John McFetridge

Okay, so it wasn't a podcast it was Ian Fleming interviewing Raymond Chandler on the BBC, but it sounds just like a podcast today - a couple of writers sitting around bitching. What is genre? Can it be literature? How long does it take you to write a book?

Fleming even asks Chandler, "Where do you get your ideas?"

The interview took plce in 1958. There's about a five minute intro here giving some background and then the interview starts. It's really worth listening to the whole thing.

Here's Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

I think it's interesting when Chandler says there are no California novelists worth talking about no one mentions John Steinbeck.


David Cranmer said...

Fascinating back and forth between these giants. I featured this a few weeks ago on my blog and just listened to the first part here again. Incredible insight.

Unknown said...

Can't thank you enough for this, John. Truly fascinating.

John McFetridge said...

David, sorry, I didn't see it on your blog, wish I had.

I find it so funny that this conversation could take place today almost unchanged.

adrian mckinty said...


It is fascinating. I love their voices too.

Fred Zackel said...

I have found that those who love "literature" and were educated according to English public school standards tend to ignore and dismiss Steinbeck. But he wrote some nifty noir, like Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath and ... "Nifty"? That's the word the NY Times used about that "nifty little thriller" Of Mice and Men in its 1930s review.

John McFetridge said...

Of Mice and Men is a "nifty triller?!?" Wow.

That's an interesting point about the English public school standards, Fred. I think, also, that because Steinbeck is often taught in high school (or was back in the dark ages when I went) that somehow led to him being underappreciated by adults.

Lately I've heard a few people ask now that there is the special designtaion, "Young Adult Lit" would To Kill a Mockingbird,, Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies be YA books?

Peter Rozovsky said...

My favorite bit: Chandler's declaration that "A solemn thriller is really rather a bore."

One caveat: The broadcaster who introduces the interview in the version I listened to gets the date of Chandler's death wrong. It's March 26, 1959, not March 23.
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