cerning his own standard, WilliamnFaulkner himself was cleady in somendoubt; yet two facts are incontrovertible.nThe first is — Karl refers to it—nthat along with Shakespeare, the OldnTestament was Faulkner’s favoritenreading matter, and that, as his fictionnattests, he was well versed in it. Thensecond is that Faulkner realized, ultimately,nthat art and the artist are notnsovereign. What other, final, explanationnis possible for his lifelong inclinationnto play every other role than thatnof the writer? This “imposter,” asnProfessor Karl calls him, may havenbeen such; but his impostures appearnto have been prompted by genuinenhumility and self-knowledge, rathernthan their opposites. Faulkner, thenconsummate artist, knew just hownunsovereign artists actually are. Likenother major writers — one thinks ofnHemingway, the big game hunter —nhe felt, at times, that an artist wasnamong the most insignificant, if notnactually contemptible, things to be.nLike Tolstoy, he preferred very often tonthink of himself as a farmer instead.nIn one respect — and one only — isnthe artist vassal, not suzerain, for ProfessornKarl; and that is in his relationshipnto progressive opinion. Throughoutnhis text, Karl is at pains tonAmericanize Faulkner — which is tonsay, to transmogrify him from a whitenMississippian of his time into an eccentricnkindred spirit (but a kindred spiritnall the same) of the (white) Northeasternnliberal oi Karl’s contemporary milieu;nwhen the portrait-frame, subjectednto such unnatural pressures, beginsnto bend and warp (as it does whenevernFaulkner’s problematic attitudes towardnthe question of race arise), Karl simplynapologizes for the discrepancy, andncites the fact that, after all, Faulknernwas a white Mississippian, etc., etc.n. . . How sad that a man who has spentnyears researching and writing anthousand-plus-page book about anothernman, of another place and time,nshould seem to consider his laborsnjustified only to the extent that hisnsubject’s ideas concerning race,nreligion, women, and what we todayncall global democracy dovetail withnthe prevailing orthodoxy. Because,notherwise, why worry such old bones?nChilton Williamson, Jr. is book editornof Chronicles.nTugging the Leashnbyf.O. TatenPoodle Springsnby Raymond Chandler andnRobert E. ParkernNew York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons;n268 pp., $18.95nMariowe’s back, and Parker’s gotnhim. Well he should. Parkernknows every one of Chandler’s quirks:nhe wrote part of his dissertation aboutnChandler twenty years ago. And thennhe started writing his Spenser books.n(Where do you suppose he got the ideanto name his private eye afier a 16thcenturynEnglish poet?) But Spenser isnvery East Coast—unlike Marlowe, thendisillusioned voice of La-La Land.nThere’s no point in belaboring then”plot” or the action of Poodle Springsn— there wasn’t much point to that innChandler’s books, either, because readersnfollowed Marlowe for the uneasynatmosphere and the snappy patter, notnfor the rhinestone ratiocination or evennfor what was going to happen next.nReaders hung not on what Marlowensaid but on how he said it; they turnednthe pages of the books becausenRaymond Chandler compelled themnwith what he called “magic” and “music.”nParker undoubtedly has some of thatnwise-cracking Marlovian magic. Hisnventriloquism is accomplished — henmakes you want to turn the page fornsome more of this sort of stuflF:n”Do detectives have fights, Mr.nMarlowe?” she said.n”Sometimes,” I said. “Usuallynwe put the criminal in his placenwith a well-polished phrase.”n”Are you carrying a gun?”nI shook my head. “I didn’tnknow you’d be here,” I said.nSometimes, though, Parker misfires: “Inwas so far out on the limb now . . . thatnI felt like a coconut.” That one doesn’tnfly because coconuts don’t grow far outnon limbs. On the whole, though, Parkernmaintains that certain Chandleriannstrain:nFor a change of pace I swivelednmy chair around and stared outnthe window at HollywoodnBoulevard for a while. The firstnnnidea I had was that it was timento change the grease in thenfryolator in the coffee shopndownstairs.nNow that one was bottled in bond.nSo never mind about the case Marlowenworks on. The point is, he’s married.nRaymond Chandler himself wrotenthe first four chapters right before hendied in 1959. Those four chapters arenfamiliar to Chandlerians from RaymondnChandler Speaking (1962), andnare here imaginatively continued bynParker, who’s done his homework. Henremembers that Mariowe met LindanLoring in The Long Goodbye (1954)nwhile they were both drinking gimlets,nso we have an authentic reprise of thatnpotent cocktail. We have pornography,nas in The Big Sleep, an allusion to thengambling ships oi Farewell, My Lovely,na key photograph as in The HighnWindow, a Santa Ana as in “RednWind,” a nostalgic reflection as in ThenLittle Sister. This was Chandlertownnin 1949:nI used to like this town. … Anlong time ago. There were treesnalong Wilshire Boulevard.nBeverly Hills was a countryntown. Westwood was bare hillsnand lots offering at elevennhundred dollars and no takers.nHollywood was a bunch ofnframe houses on the interurbannline. Los Angeles was just a bigndry sunny place with uglynhomes and no style, butngoodhearted and peaceful. Itnhad the climate they just yapnabout now. People used to sleepnout on porches. Little groupsnwho thought they werenintellectual used to call it thenAthens of America. It wasn’tnthat, but it wasn’t a neon-lightednslum either.nParker’s paraphrase, in 1989, goes likenthis:nIt was one of those comfortablencool bungalows with big frontnporches that they used to buildnat about the time that L.A. wasna sprawling comfortable placenwith a lot of sunshine and nonsmog. People used to sit onnthose porches in the eveningnand sip iced tea and watch thenDECEMBER 1989/39n