RE: RARA-AVIS: Hammett's women

Martha Fischer (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 10:27:53 -0500

while the only hammett novel i've read recently is the Maltese Falcon, at some point i've read all of them (apart from The Dain Curse-- that any good?), and my annoyance with his women was a reoccurring theme. i agree with you to a degree, vicky, apart characters like brigid being strong and self-reliant, but at the same time, on a very basic level, they're all just really HOT CHICKS. i don't want to oversimplify it too much, but it always struck me that i could imagine how hammett would describe his women before they showed up, and they all are these dreamy ideals. perhaps part of the reason it struck me so was that i was reading chandler for the first time while i was discovering hammett, and i always found his women very quirky and individual, both in appearance and behavior. chandler's women have wonderful flaws (physical and otherwise) that, to me, makes them infinitely more memorable.

martha <>

-----Original Message-----


Effie Perrine is certainly a girl Friday (I always wondered how much she got paid, actually), and certainly the women (other than Nora) in The Thin Man are nothing to write home about. But do the women in his other books really bother you that much? I always liked the tough, self-reliant grifters he wrote about--Dinah Brand and Brigid O'Shaughnessey and Angel Grace Cardigan and Aaronia Haldorn.

Just curious, Vicky

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