Last June I posted about the great pulp novelist Raymond Chandler, who created the character of Philip Marlowe and in doing so helped to shape the modern detective story. That post concerned his disregard for contemporary science fiction; this time the subject matter is a little more poignant.
Shortly after Cissy's death, Chandler penned a letter to his good friend Leonard Russell, which you can read here. It's a very moving piece, packed with his regrets and insecurities about the quality of his work. It reminded me to some extent of John Fowles, who never wrote another novel after the death of his own wife in 1990. We tend to give writers a lot of credit as individuals, and a lot of the time that is deserved, but the people around them often provide either the control or creative spark that they really need.
For more on alcoholism among writers, check out my previous post concerning Anton Chekhov here.