‘…you have to have a place…’

Approaching the end of a summer in which for various reasons I’ve been unable to concentrate on my thesis to the degree I would have liked, I’m excited to be getting back to things tomorrow, and in particular, resuming my research into South (Central) LA.

I thought I’d mark the occasion with a line I encountered during a recent re-reading of Chandler’s The Long Good-bye; it’s an apt epigraph for my thesis, and a good reminder to keep myself grounded in the material, the geographical and the historical, during the moments I’m tempted to fly a little too far into the conceptual.

No matter how smart you think you are, you have to have a place to start from; a name, an address, a neighbourhood, a background, an atmosphere, a point of reference of some sort.

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Author: Alex Pavey

I'm a Research Assistant at the University of Portsmouth, and recently submitted my PhD thesis at UCL. My research focuses on Los Angeles literature and cinema across the twentieth century - particularly, although not exclusively, narratives of crime and detection.

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