RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: "Watching the Detectives" on Chandler/Marlowe

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 21 Jul 2000

Michael Chong:

<<The documentary also stated that both Hammett and Chandler were influenced by Hemingway. I'm pretty sure rara avians have dealt with this assumption before, but I find it unfounded. I've read that Hemingway read Hammett before he started writing his novels.>>

It's hard to determine whether Hemingway influenced Hammett first or viceversa. They came of literary age around the same time. The influence of Hemingway on Chandler seems pretty strong. Doesn't Chandler write about E.H. in his letters?
(It's been a long time since I read Chandler's correspondence.)

Curiously, the other US literary giant in the first half of the century, William Faulkner, does not seem to have influenced mystery writers nearly as much as Hemingway. Nowadays, we see Faulkner in James Lee Burke and a very few other crime writers, but it's mostly a Southern thing. Maybe Faulkner is too singular and too complex to serve as a model for crime writers.



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