Monday, March 09, 2009

Chandler Manuscript Page

Along with the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections at UCLA has the largest collection of Raymond Chandler papers.

Now UCLA is hosting an exhibit featuring a sample of artifacts from their collection. Included in the exhibit are manuscript pages from Chandler's Playback, the last novel he completed before he died.

Although I haven't had the opportunity to visit the exhibit, I'm particularly pleased to see the scan UCLA posted of page 6 of the manuscript.

As I described in my article, "Writing The Long Goodbye," Chandler typed his manuscripts on half sheets, oriented 5.5 inches in width and 8.5 inches in length like a small portrait page. The rationale for this was to limit the amount of retyping required if Chandler elected to rewrite something on a page.

Due to restrictions placed on the Oxford collection by the Chandler estate, I wasn't able to duplicate any of the draft manuscript pages from The Long Goodbye for my article, but the UCLA page provides a great example--although it appears Chandler switched from his usual yellow paper to blue for his last novel.

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