“[He was] as honest as you can expect a man to be in a world where it’s going out of style.” —The Big Sleep
Even if you’ve never picked up one of Raymond Chandler’s novels about quintessential noir private detective Philip Marlowe (or seen him immortalized in film by Humphrey Bogart), you can conjure up the image of the hardboiled gumshoe pretty easily. While Chandler wasn’t the first author to really develop the classic pulp detective fiction of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, he created the archetype of the rugged private eye — a man as quick with a witty one-liner or a metaphor as he was with a gun.
While some hardboiled mystery writers of the era focused on cut-and-dry stories you could cruise through in one sitting, Chandler created something different in Philip Marlowe. Through his inner monologues and interactions with his clients on the case, Marlowe exhibited a type of manliness and modern day chivalry that even back then was going out of style. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Marlowe, and how his approach to the tough side of life can apply to you and me, even if we’re stuck behind a desk and not out chasing down the clues (and the dangerous dames that come with them).
Stick to Your N.U.T.s
“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished, nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything.” —The Simple Art of Murder
Do you have N.U.T.s? Those non-negotiable, un-alterable terms that set the basis for your life and decisions? Much like a moral code, our N.U.T.s remind us of where we stand and what we stand for when we’re faced with temptation or cutting corners. They keep us resolute in a world of half-measures and fickle values.