Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Now That’s a Lot of Cabbage

Something recently reminded me of that specialized “hard-boiled” lingo one finds in novels by writers like Dashiel Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, and others. I think it must have been a delayed echo from that Robyn Hitchcock show I was writing about a couple of days ago, specifically his tune “Raymond Chandler Evening” I’ve continue to hum all week.

I was going back through some posts on the blog recently -- just cleaning up some dead links here and there. Ended up lingering for a while, reading several including a few early ones where I tried (somewhat vainly) to write using that “hard-boiled” patois.

That didn’t last very long (thankfully), although a few phrases and words have stuck over the years, including using “cabbage” to refer to money. It wasn’t my normal voice, of course, and while my detective novel Same Difference has a few hard-boiled elements (including style-wise), I didn’t go for the lingo so much there, either, finding it hard enough to tell a story without giving myself that additional challenge.

I’ve toyed with another novel idea, a story set in the late 1920s, actually, where it would be not inappropriate to include characters sounding like Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. So ripe for parody, that. Can only really be done with tongue partially in cheek.

Probably wouldn’t have made it to one year on here writing about poker had I tried to keep up that applesauce. Let alone ten, a milestone that’s coming up in just over a week. (No shinola.)

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