Listen to a 1958 Interview with Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler


Two of literature’s most popular writers shared an intriguing conversation in 1958. Raymond Chandler — whose hardboiled pulp protagonist Philip Marlowe has become synonymous with the American detective novel — and Ian Fleming — father of the British spy, playboy, and adventurer, James Bond — chatted about heroes, villains, and the differences between the American and British thriller in this 24-minute long interview for the BBC. They share an obvious mutual appreciation for each other’s work, and Fleming often defers to Chandler — at one point even saying, ” … You write better books than I do.” Chandler questions Fleming’s use of torture in his stories, but also admits, “I know what it is to be banged on the head with a revolver butt.” Fleming describes his frustration with the hero label when it comes to 007: “I never intended my leading character, James Bond, to be a hero. I intended him to be a sort of blunt instrument wielded by a government department … On the whole I think he’s a rather unattractive man … ” For more fascinating confessions and tales from two scribes who are masters of their craft, hit the jump to listen to the deliciously crackled tape recording, or download a PDF copy over here.

[via Super Punch]