Without Magic, There Is No Art. Without Art, There Is No Idealism

Raymond Chandler? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Raymond Chandler wrote influential detective novels such as “The Big Sleep” and “The Long Goodbye”. He moved to Hollywood and co-wrote the screenplay for the film noir classic “Double Indemnity”, but Chandler grew to dislike the heavy hand of producers, directors, and censorship boards on the writing process. He wrote:

Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism.

Would you please help me to find a citation?

Dear Quote Investigator: Raymond Chandler wrote an essay about his disenchantment with Hollywood for the “The Screen Writer” published by the Screen Writers’ Guild, but he withdrew the piece when the editor of the journal changed. Chandler died in 1959, and the essay appeared posthumously in “The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler” under the title “A Qualified Farewell” in 1976. He wanted to create artistically worthy scripts, but interference from many sources made it difficult: 1

Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production, and in the end not even that . . .

This article finishes with one more citation and a conclusion.

In 1997 the authors Carol Edgarian and Tom Jenks assembled an intriguing collection titled “The Writer’s Life: Intimate Thoughts on Work, Love, Inspiration, and Fame” which included the quotation ascribed to Chandler although no citation was listed: 2

Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production.
RAYMOND CHANDLER

In conclusion, Raymond Chandler should receive credit for this quotation which occurred in an essay he originally wrote for the journal “The Screen Writer”. The U.S. Library of Congress database entry for “The Screen Writer” states the periodical ceased publication in October 1948. Chandler withdrew the essay before that date. In 1976, seventeen years after his death, the essay was published.

(Great thanks to Mai Abu ElDahab whose inquiry led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration.)

Notes:

  1. 1976, The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler and English Summer: A Gothic Romance by Raymond Chandler, Edited by Frank MacShane, Chapter: A Qualified Farewell (Appeared in the journal “Antaeus” under the title “Farewell My Hollywood”), Start Page 68, Quote Page 69, The Ecco Press, New York. (Verified with hardcopy)
  2. 1997, The Writer’s Life: Intimate Thoughts on Work, Love, Inspiration, and Fame from the Diaries of the World’s Great Writers, Edited by Carol Edgarian and Tom Jenks, Chapter: Beginnings – Ambition, Quote Page 31, Vintage Books, New York. (Verified with scans)