RARA-AVIS: Still on Whittington and Spillane

Juri Nummelin (jurnum@utu.fi)
Mon, 20 Sep 1999 14:01:08 +0300 (EET DST)

If Harry Whittington made a movie, but couldn't sell it, it shhould be published now. There must be a copy of the film somewhere and if Whittington's widow is still alive, she has the rights (at least I believe she does). It would be a very good thing to do. It could even interest someone - there seems to be quite many hardboiled fans around. On video or DVD, if not in cinema.

And Spillane.. What can I say more? The most dangerous thing in Spillane is that Mike Hammer is a hero. If he were at least ambivalent or something like that, a reluctant hero, but he just isn't. And he keeps beating people up and enjoying it. If there is a book in which the main character says he enjoys beating freaks and stuff, he mustn't be a hero. In Dan J. Marlowe or in Jim Thompson or in Chester Himes, they simply are not heroes. Either they are psychopaths or the society doesn't give them any other chances than to get violent. Mike Hammer is clearly a psycho, but nevertheless he is the hero. And if someone says he does what he does because the society doesn't work, I say the society should be changed and not leave everything to Hammer and the like.

That said I must confess that I somewhat enjoy Spillane's "narrative drive" (this is what I meant saying that he writes well).

Juri jurnum@utu.fi

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