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segunda-feira, maio 21, 2007

When in doubt

A introdução de Jeffery Deaver ao livro «The Long Good-Bye» (na edição da Penguin) é muito boa. Ainda pensei em copiar uns excertos à mão - o que me daria aquele aconchego interior de que desfrutam os que, em favor da comunidade, subtraem as delícias do ócio ao seu próprio tempo - mas depois encontrei na rede um sítio com o texto e acabei por sucumbir ao charme fácil do copy-paste. É a minha contribuição para o aumento da venda de romances policiais nos meses de calor e praia (a capa deste liga bem com toalhas azuis e brancas - puarto! - o que é um bónus). Façam então o favor de avançar, com bravura, para os dois parágrafos seguintes, em inglês e sem ilustrações:

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«His few novels (he published his first at 51 and produced only seven full-length works) carried the crime novel into entirely new territory. The stories move leisurely and are not filled with rapid-fire, contrived reversals, as current suspense film-makers frequently do to compensate for a tepid story. Chandler once offered to aspiring writers, 'When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.' And yet one can't help but wonder if that advice was delivered in the same wry vein as an edgy rejoinder tossed off by Marlowe to some clueless cop. In fact, very little of his writing is about guys coming through the door with guns. It's about a thoughtful, solitary man making his way through a difficult world. Weaponry may appear, but the body count is low. There are conflicts aplenty in Philip Marlowe's world, but they're usually not the sort that can be solved with a bullet from a .38 or a roundhouse punch to a thug's chin.

By stepping back from the genre, ironically, Raymond Chandler stepped beyond it. He turned down heat in his plots and concentrated instead on strong, self-contained scenes (he was famously contemptuous of overplotting), allowing these moments of human drama to drive his stories forward. This by no means denigrates his own plots; they move in elegant and unexpected ways and he stays true to the conventions of solid storytelling (never shy about judging fellow writers, Chandler once said, 'At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable'). His skill in creating atmosphere remains a model for writers today, and, oh, what lines ('It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window').»

etc, etc