Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Chandler's women

James Rogers (
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 02:02:13 -0500

At 09:48 PM 10/26/99 -0400, Vicky wrote:

<cut all the stuff I agree with and which was expressed so well>

>I don't find this kind of dichotomy in Hammett's writing at all. To me,
>most of his women come across as characters first and as women second, if
>that makes any sense, and I think that strengthens his writing.
>Oh, and Martha--I'd say that The Dain Curse is the weakest of Hammett's
>novels, but I still enjoy it. FWIW.

   _DC_ is way the worst, yes, but I think a lot of that had to do with the serial structure...i.e: it is really three novelettes, very loosely linked, and one gets the sense that the denoument, by which I mean the Whodunit, was a sort of last minute deal.
    I can see how a reader of DC might get the idea that Hammett idealized women, though I seem to recall a vividly realized, very unromantisized black maid in the first section ( an early suspect?....I haven't re-read it in several years).


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