Monday, July 9, 2007

Chess in Raymond Chandler's "The High Window"

Chess is a literary motif in Raymond Chandler's The High Window which features detective Philip Marlowe.

At the conclusion of the novel, there are these memorable lines:

It was night. I went home and put my old house clothes on and set the chessmen out and mixed a drink and played over another Capablanca. It went forty-nine moves. Beautiful and remorseless chess, almost creepy in its silent implacability.
When it was done I listened at the open window for a while and smelled the night. Then I carried my glass out to the kitchen, and rinsed it and filled it with ice water and stood at the sink sipping it and looking at my face in the mirror.
"You and Capablanca," I said.