Re: RARA-AVIS: Race Williams and the KKK

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 22 May 2001

I'm not sure why I'm being obstinate about this, especially since I personally prefer the PI to the cowboy (especially in literature, the cowboy rates a closer second in film). Must just be in a cranky mood.

Anyway, your comments about the originality of Daly's hardboiled private eye intrigues me. How original was his creation? I know he beat Hammett to the punch. However, much is made of Hammett's relying on his real experience, that the Continental Agency is a fictionalized version of the Pinkerton Agency. So was there really no real life corollary to what Williams created?

From the little bit I read of Daly, a long, long time ago. he seemed to rely a lot more on blazing guns, like the westerner (and the mythic westerner is a far cry from the real world cowboy, even when based on a real person like Buffalo Bill, Wild Bil, Wyatt Earp, etc), but in an urban setting. Also, I don't know much about the chronology of these characters, but when was his creation in relation to the Shadow or Doc Savage? Did these adventurers come before or after him?


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