What’s a female crime-writing author, who owes so much to Raymond Chandler and who loves him dearly, to do in this age of #MeToo? Megan Abbott (Give Me Your Hand) has some interesting observation in a delightful and insightful essay on Salon.com.
Abbott is unabashed in her love for Raymond Chandler and the noir world that he creates so superbly in novels like The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye.
But the misogynistic attitude that Chandler’s characters exhibit is on full display. That Abbott concedes:
And yet, even reading Chandler’s harsher passages, I find myself not turning away but moving closer. Trying to understand something. Am I still entranced? Even as I resist the faintly gendered connotations of the term, its suggestion of female helplessness in the face of male potency, I still feel the pull. What fascinates and compels me most about Chandler in this #MeToo moment are the ways his novels speak to our current climate. Because if you want to understand toxic white masculinity, you could learn a lot by looking at noir. Source: Raymond Chandler in the age of #MeToo.
Look closely, she says, rather than rejecting it. Chandler still has something to tell us.
A good sub-10-minute read.
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