And where did I ever say that only my type of detective story is serious literature? My argument is and always has been merely that there is no such thing as serious literature, that the survivals of Puritanism in the American mind make all but the most literate people incapable of thinking of literature without reference to what they call significance, and that most of this so-called serious literature or fiction is the most transient stuff in the world; the moment its message is dated, damn quick it is dead stuff.
Raymond Chandler, letter to Bernice Baumgarten, March 31, 1949