When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it stays split.

— Raymond Chandler

The most genuine Raymond Chandler quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

Down these mean streets a man must go who is neither tarnished nor afraid

80

He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.

78

Some are able and humane men and some are low-grade individuals with the morals of a goat, the artistic integrity of a slot machine, and the manners of a floorwalker with delusions of grandeur.

72

It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.

67

There are two kinds of truth; The truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The fist of these is science and the second is art.

62

There are people who can write their memoirs with a reasonable amount of honesty, and there are people who simply cannot take themselves seriously enough. I think I might be the first to admit that the sort of reticence which prevents a man from exploiting his own personality is really an inverted sort of egotism.

60

I said something which gave you to think I hated cats.

But gad, sir, I am one of the most fanatical cat lovers in the business. If you hate them, I may learn to hate you. If your allergies hate them, I will tolerate the situation to the best of my ability.

58

The motion picture made in Hollywood, if it is to create art at all, must do so within such strangling limitations of subject and treatment that it is a blind wonder it ever achieves any distinction beyond the purely mechanical slickness of a glass and chromium bathroom.

56

It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in.

56

Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.

54

At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.

53

I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.

50

About Raymond Chandler

Quotes 219 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Novelist
Birthday  July 23, 1888

To say goodbye is to die a little.

50

The keynote of American civilization is a sort of warm-hearted vulgarity.

The Americans have none of the irony of the English, none of their cool poise, none of their manner. But they do have friendliness. Where an Englishman would give you his card, an American would very likely give you his shirt.

48

There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren't as good as others.

47

A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.

46

Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.

39

Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.

39

The impulse to perfection cannot exist where the definition of perfection is the arbitrary decision of authority. That which is born in loneliness and from the heart cannot be defended against the judgment of a committee of sycophants. The volatile essences which make literature cannot survive the clichés of a long series of story conferences.

36

She lowered her lashes until they almost cuddled her cheeks and slowly raised them again, like a theatre curtain. I was to get to know that trick. That was supposed to make me roll over on my back with all four paws in the air.

34

There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.

28

There are two kinds of truth; the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery.

27

There was a sad fellow over on a bar stool talking to the bartender, who was polishing a glass and listening with that plastic smile people wear when they are trying not to scream.

26

She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.

26

She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight.

24

Organized crime is the dirty side of the sharp dollar.

22

From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class.

From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.

21

The moment a man sets his thoughts down on paper, however secretly, he is in a sense writing for publication.

20

I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won't let himself get snotty about it.

19

I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.

18

I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you didn't need a gun, you'd better take one along that worked.

18

When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.

18

You can always tell a detective on TV. He never takes his hat off.

15

Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.

14

So by all means let's have a television show quick and long, even if the commercial has to be delivered by a man in a white coat with a stethoscope hanging around his neck, selling ergot pills. After all the public is entitled to what it wants, isn't it? The Romans knew that and even they lasted four hundred years after they started to putrefy.

13

A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober.

An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can't predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.

12

Your rat tail is all the fashion now.

I prefer a bushy plume, carried straight up. You are Siamese and your ancestors lived in trees. Mine lived in palaces. It has been suggested to me that I am a bit of a snob. How true! I prefer to be.

12

In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption.

12

The minute you try to talk business with him he takes the attitude that he is a gentleman and a scholar, and the moment you try to approach him on the level of his moral integrity he starts to talk business.

12

I'm in a wild mood tonight. I want to go dance in the foam. I hear the banshees calling.

11

A really good detective never gets married.

11

As honest as you could expect a man to be in a world where it's out of style.

11

Show me a man or woman who cannot stand mysteries and I will show you a fool, a clever fool - perhaps - but a fool just the same.

10

I was as hollow and empty as the spaces between stars.

10

An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence.

9

If you're not tough it's hard to survive in this world;

and if you're not kind then you don't deserve to survive.

9

Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.

8

The faster I write the better my output.

If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.

8

The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the single most valuable investment a writer can make with his time.

8
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