Thursday, March 02, 2006

This makes me want to drink and listen to Tom Waits all day



Today's typewriter: This belonged to an American writer notorious for his life as much as he was for his work. He embraced the "write what you know" school of thought and knew things that would corrupt a dead junkie hooker. (Update: I found a better picture of the man's actual typewriter. Here it is.)

Yesterday's winner is: JD Rhoades! Author of The Devil's Right Hand and Good Day In Hell, Dusty correctly IDed yesterday's typewriter as William Faulkner's (and my apologies for incorrectly identifying the winner earlier as that Polish pretender, Mr. Swierczynski. Yikes, shades of my undergraduate days).

As most of you know, Faulkner was one of the screenwriters who worked on The Big Sleep. Unable to figure out who killed the chauffeur whose body is pulled from the drink near the beginning of the book, Faulkner called Raymond Chandler. As the story goes, Chandler said, "How the hell should I know?"

My favorite story also comes from his Hollywood days. Asked how he liked working in film, Faulkner said that no novice thought he could direct a picture or produce a picture or carry a picture, "but around here, everyone knows the alphabet."

10 comments:

secretdeadartist said...

Whenever I read Faukner I did end up listening to Waits and drinking all day.

secretdeadartist said...

Uhhh, that's Faulkner. Just thinking about it makes me slur words.

JD Rhoades said...

I'll try for another win in the contest: Charles Bukowski?

-Not Duane

JD Rhoades said...

Actually, I'd always hear the story this way: while they were shooting, the director realized that they didn't know who shot the chauffeur. They cabled Faulkner, who'd gone home to Mississipi. Fualkner cabled back "The Butler did it."

Never let truth get in the way of a good legend.

-Still Not Duane

Jennifer Jordan said...

I'm going to say Hemingway.

This despite being distracted by the Tom Waits reference. I went to TW's site the other day and read all of the lyrics. God, that man's a national treasure!

Olen Steinhauer said...

I'm leaning toward Bukowski myself. The only thing that throws me off is the use of a wine bottle rather than rotgut whiskey. I'm pretty sure it ain't Hemingway, partly because his routine for so long was to write by hand standing up, and also because the forearm doesn't look hairy enough. Which of course might nix Bukowski as well. I've obviously thrown myself out of the running by this point, but it's nice to think out loud.

Daniel Hatadi said...

Damn you Northern Hemisphere types. You wait till I go to sleep, then you pull back the curtains, drag out the roulette tables and bring on the dancing girls.

My vote goes to Bukowski too.

Duane Swierczynski said...

Bukowski's the smart guess. But I've never been smart. So I'll say William Burroughs. (Unless it's Bukowski.)

secretdeadartist said...

Waits really is a national treasure. He should have his own postage stamp.

Ray said...

AH HELL! I would've gotten that one.

Olen - AFAIK, Bukowski wasn't a big whisky drinker. Cheap wine, cheaper women and cigars...

And hell yes, Waits is a national treasure. He's one of the great American storytellers. And I'll personally gut anyone who says different.