On this day 124 years ago Raymond Chandler, hardest of the hard-boiled, was born. To celebrate the father of Philip Marlowe see these letters Chandler wrote to some of his contemporaries, listen to Chandler’s interview with Ian Fleming, and enjoy a couple classic Chandlerisms. Most importantly, read “The Simple Art of Murder,” the greatest essay about the mystery novel ever written.
“I just didn’t see the textual evidence for it. If Mark Twain wanted to make somebody black, he would make them black. He was not shy about dealing with matters of race.” For The New Yorker, Mythili G. Rao on the complicated backstory to the upcoming publication of The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, a “new” children’s book by Mark Twain. See also: our consideration of Twain’s self-deprecating travelogue The Innocents Abroad.
Have you ever wondered what a music note might look like? Now you have, so go and check out Resonantia by artists Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown, a work which tests the limits of “cymatics—the patterns that sound waves induce in physical objects.” One of Louviere’s projects involved photographing the “shapes” of each of the 12 notes. Spoiler alert: G looks like a devil.
“As much as there is an evergreen fascination for Christie’s stories, there’s also an alluring air of mystery surrounding the woman herself.” Broadly explores the enduring nature of Agatha Christie‘s stories, the recent surge in adaptations (including Murder on the Orient Express), and the mysterious 11-day disappearance of the writer herself. From our archives: an essay on the sometimes inherent predictability of the mystery genre.
You may have read some portion of the infamous Watergate transcripts. What you probably haven’t read is quotes from the transcripts rearranged into poetry. At The Paris Review Daily, a few representative poems by Richard Nixon, including “I Can’t Recall,” “The Position” and “In the End.” You could also read our own Michael Bourne on Thomas Mallon’s book Watergate.
“To the pathless wastes, into thin air, with no reviews, no best-seller lists, no college curricula, no National Book Awards or Pulitzer Prizes, no ads, no publicity, not even word of mouth to guide me!” For her new book The Shelf: From LEQ to LES, Phyllis Rose undertook the ultimate stunt in writing-about-reading: an unsorted shelf with no logic at all.