RARA-AVIS: *TSAM* - The stories that weren't included

30 Jan 99 11:21:00 -0500 --UNS_gsauns2_3046268431
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Disposition: inline

Okay, I know I said my most recent post of *TSAM* would be my last,
but I recalled something else that stuck me.

Why did Chandler choose the stories he chose for inclusion in *TSAM*.

We know that the stories he "cannibilized" into novels were excluded,
but that still leaves two that weren't cannibilized and still weren't
included, his very first story "Blackmailers Don't Shoot" (*Black
Mask* 12/33) and his last published pulp story "No Crime in the
Mountains" (*Detective Story* 9/41).

We know from letters he wrote that he was considering both of these
stories. Ultimately he decided to exclude them from what he, no
doubt, considered to be his "official" short story collection.

I'm guessing that he found "Blackmailers Don't Shoot," as his novice
work, simply not up to the standards he wanted for *TSAM*.

It's often assumed the "No Crime in the Mountains" was excluded
because it was "cannibilized" in *The Lady in the Lake*, but, reading
the story, this doesn't seem to be the case. Certainly, both *Lady in
the Lake* and "No Crime" share a rural setting, and both feature
colorful, rustic policemen as characters. But so does the short story
version of "Lady in the Lake." Chandler didn't need to cannibilize
"No Crime" to get these elements, because they were already present in
the earlier story. Moreover, Chandler had already started work on,
probably was close to completing the novel-length *The Lady in the
Lake* at the time he wrote "No Crime." If anything, he borrowed the
rural setting and cop from the novel rather than the other way around.

I suspect he dropped "No Crime" because he thought the Axis espionage
plot was dated. In a letter to his publisher he mentioned that, if he
included it, he would have to "re-write it heavily, deleting the Nazi
stuff." But "the Nazi stuff" was central to the plot. What would he
replace it with? Commie stuff? In the end it was easier just to
exclude it.

Any other thoughts? - Jim Doherty


The "cannibilized" stories, along with "No Crime in the Mountains" are
all, as Mario pointed out, included in the posthumous Chandler
collection *Killer in the Rain*.

"Blackmailers Don't Shoot" was finally reprinted in an omnibus volume
called *The Midnight Raymond Chandler* in the States. I bleieve it
was also included in the British Chandler collection *The Smell of
Fear*. It's also included in the first volume of that ritzy, literary
multi-volume Chandler series that was published (to some controversy)
a year or two ago. - JD

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to majordomo@icomm.ca.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.vex.net/~buff/rara-avis/.