RE: RARA-AVIS: Swimming, Angie and proofing

From: Anthony Dauer (
Date: 21 Apr 2002

We read the same book? From the beginning, Spade plays all of them. Off themselves and off each other as he works towards solving the case. He takes his disadvantage of knowledge as well as his realization that they're all lying and leverages it into weapon to use against people with motivations that he doesn't initially know. He backdoors them and makes them reveal unwittingly what's truly going on at each step of the way until he finally solves the case. A classic strategist, he orchestrates all their moves in such a way that they believe they are driving their own actions while he holds the puppet strings over each of their heads. We're not privy to details within his mind and there are events that occur off-stage ... thankfully or the book would have been to heavy to hold. But the clues are there to be seen and to be inferred for those who look. I don't know if Hammett played chess or if he read Sun Tzu ... it's likely that he read Clausewitz or more likely Machiavelli and it shows in his masterful depiction of an exceptional strategist. Although there very well may be a clue in Spade's Luciferisch looks has more applicability and Spade represents the trickster archetype which is also known for all the attributes I have mentioned.

Anthony Dauer, MSM IS
Alexandria, Virginia

2nd Annual Country Noir Issue ...
... submit by 4 May 2002
-----Original Message----- From: Kerry Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2002 11:48 AM
But Spade is a sap, as are all the characters in The Maltese Falcon, conned by some unseen hand into lying, cheating, killing and, perhaps most telling of all, the mistrust and denial of love. This for the pursuit of a worthless chunk of lead.

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