Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jade earrings and broken hearts

She was wearing a pair of long jade earrings. They were nice earrings and had probably cost a couple of hundred dollars. She wasn't wearing anything else.

I knelt down and squinted along the nap of the rug to the front door. I thought I could see two parallel grooves pointing that way, as though heels had dragged. Whoever had done it had meant business. Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.

—excerpts from The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
I had a long, hard day yesterday (it was one of those days when San Antonio was as squishy as a rotten avocado) and didn't spend much computer time when I got home. So today I'll throw in two quotes instead of one. I like quote #1 for everything it leaves out. Quote #2 is a fine example of how Chandler interjects philosophical-sounding descriptions almost off-hand, while his protagonist (Marlowe) is smack in the middle of a murder scene. Dead men are heavier than broken hearts. I love that sentence. The imagery, the rhythm of the words—it's perfect.

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