Chandler's detective, Philip Marlowe, is the quintessential knight errant.
A reader's guide to Raymond Chandler (Book, ) [zexymilykepy.cf]
When first we meet him in The Big Sleep , he is entering the Sternwood mansion, about to be hired by General Sternwood: The main hallway of the Sternwood place was two stories high. He didn't seem to be really trying. Sternwood, though elderly and decrepit, has two young daughters, who are continually getting into trouble.
The General hires Marlowe to clear up the matter of some gambling debts incurred by the younger girl, Carmen. At the same time, he mentions, but does not ask Marlowe to investigate, the mysterious disappearance of his son-in-law, an ex-IRA officer, ex-bootlegger, of whom the General was extremely fond.
Marlowe's investigation leads him into a litter of corpses, a pornography ring, thickets of mobsters and dirty cops, and the increasing realization that Carmen Sternwood, though childlike, is no innocent.
Catalog Record: A reader's guide to Raymond Chandler | Hathi Trust Digital Library
Marlowe's ideals run up against the pervasive corruption of modern Los Angeles. Returning home to his apartment one night, Marlowe finds a nude Carmen in his bed. While attempting to get rid of her, he turns his attention to a chess problem: I looked down at the chessboard.
The move with the knight was wrong. Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn't a game for knights When he finally orders her to leave, Carmen begins hissing and spitting at him like some kind of animal. Like the woman in the stained-glass panel, Carmen is a nude damsel in distress, but she is no lady, so what point is there to Marlowe's code of chivalry?
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