RARA-AVIS: Chandler and hb

From: Michael Sharp ( msharp@binghamton.edu)
Date: 05 Sep 2000

I don't know if the definition of "hardboiled" stretched to include Chandler so much as he stretched it himself. He basically grafted himself to Hammett, esp in "Simple Art." He single-handedly created the notion of the genre as something viable that might develop over time, and he got himself in on the ground floor. Accouts of the genre's leaders always start
"Hammett-Chandler," followed by some third name. That third space has been filled, in people's minds and criticism, by Cain, by Macdonald, more recently by Thompson ... but it's unimaginable without Chandler. So yes, it's a good point that Chandler might have seemed different to those used to Hammett and Whitfield. But the evolution of the genre is special in this instance, as Chandler had a hand in forcing it to evolve.


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