Saturday, Jun 18, 2022

CHANDLER, RAYMOND: HIS HOLOGRAPH WILL An unquestionable rarity. Raymond Chandler’s actual two-page document to his lawyer Michael Gilbert, personally typed in blue ink by the author (with holograph corrections and additions) to serve as his will. Written from Palm Springs, California on January 18, 1957, he discusses the intricacies and legalities of such a will, and whether it will be legally valid in England. For the answer to this he mentions there will be a carbon copy of the document to be sent to his lawyer in England, Leroy Wright. This is an extraordinary piece offering extensive, highly revelatory insights into the character, the personality, the doubts of the man. Within it he outlines highly specific instructions to be carried out following his death. He wishes to be cremated, and discusses in detail the type of funeral he wants, “… either a Church of England or Episcopalian church service, depending on where I die.”; I want it “…. in a church, and there is nothing but the formal service for the dead — no poems read, no speeches, no goddam tame parson in a funeral parlor or chapel…..” Furthermore, he wishes to donate his eyes to a cornea bank (“if they want them”) and explains the medical and legal ramifications of this. And so on and so on. A document of immense significance by one of our most important novelists and screenwriters. $75,000.