Listen: Iam Fleming Interviews William Chandler, Circa 1958

Listen: Iam Fleming Interviews William Chandler, Circa 1958

Sep 23, 2011

What would happen if Philip Marlowe met James Bond over drinks? It's fun to think about, but we'll probably never know. Now, however, we can know what happened when their two creators, the American Raymond Chandler and the British Ian Fleming, met in 1958 and recorded this interview/discussion about their craft. A transcript is available via PDF, or fans can listen to a recording of the 24-minute interview.

Ian Fleming Talks to Raymond Chandler 1958 from 33hirtz on Vimeo.

Chandler was about 69, and just a year away from his death. He had already published his greatest works, which had been made into the films The Big Sleep (1946), The Long Goodbye (1973), and Farewell My Lovely (1975); he also worked on the screenplays for Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944) and Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951).

Fleming would have been around 50, and had published the first six James Bond novels, though the first Bond movie, Dr. No (1962), was still a few years away.

So what do these two legends talk about? They spend a good deal of time talking about villains and murder: "do you want me to describe how it's done?" Chandler says, ominously. There are a few revelations here, such as that Fleming wrote his Bond books during a two-month vacation from his time off as a reporter for the Sunday Times. Chandler responds, "I can't write a book in two months." And Fleming says, "but you write better books than I do."

Other bits include Fleming saying, of James Bond, that "On the whole I think he’s a rather unattractive man . . ." Chandler picks on him for forgetting to include a glass of ice water when Bond dines in Las Vegas. Regardless of any competition or elbowing each other, these two genuinely seemed to like each other. "It’s been lovely to see you again," Fleming says at the close. Chandler replies, "Well, I love to see you always."

It's fascinating to listen to and/or read, especially if you have even a passing interest in the craft of pulp writing and the craft of writing in general. Apparently, writer Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Coraline) discovered the interview while researching the history of Los Angeles.

[via Superpunch]

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