Raymond Chandler’s Imagined City.
Photographs by Catherine Corman. Introduction by Catherine Corman. Preface by
Jonathan Lethem. Text by Raymond Chandler.
Charta, 2009. 128 pp., 54 duotone illustrations, 8½x8½".
Daylight Noir: Raymond Chandler’s Imagined City
comprises photographs of all those ominous,
forbidding Los Angeles locations so hauntingly
described by Chandler in his novels. From
Malibu Pier to the Hollywood Sign, from Union
Station to the Beverly Hills Hotel, from MGM
Studios to Musso and Frank’s Grill, these locales
form the geography of Chandler’s imagination,
and conjure a world not yet entirely vanished.
Clive James wrote of Chandler’s fascination with
Los Angeles that “when he said that it had as
much personality as a paper cup, he was saying
what he liked about it.” But Chandler was also
drawn to the Hopperesque loneliness of the city,
to that sense of isolate existences that never
merge. In these photographs, Catherine Corman
(editor of Joseph Cornell’s Dreams) has given us,
as Jonathan Lethem writes in his preface,“a
supremely evocative catalogue of haunted
places... these streets and buildings we have
erected in order to give order to our solitudes.”
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