Saturday, February 18, 2012

Raymond Chandler's Catch-22

This whole 1945 essay by Raymond Chandler in The Atlantic is wonderful, but I think this is my favorite paragraph:

To me the interesting point about Hollywood's writers of talent is not how few or how many they are, but how little of worth their talent is allowed to achieve. Interesting -- but hardly unexpected, one you accept the premise that writers are employed to write screenplays on the theory that, being writers, they have a particular gift and training for the job, and are then prevented from doing it with any independence or finality whatsoever, on the theory that, being merely writers, they know nothing about making pictures, and of course if they don't know how to make pictures, they couldn't possibly know how to write them.

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