Re: RARA-AVIS: Hemingway, Hammett, Chandler and Parker

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 15 May 2002

At 09:37 AM 5/15/02 -0700, you wrote:
>--- Brian Thornton <> wrote:
> > Also, while Chandler is cited over and over again as
> > a leading influence in
> > Parker's work, I think that Hammett's influence gets
> > overlooked.
>I think this probably happens because of what Parker
>himself says of his work. I can't quote him
>precisely, but he's basically said that his first
>couple of Spenser novels were Chandler imitations.
>When he got stuck wondering what to do next, he'd ask
>himself what Marlowe would do, and have Spenser do
>that. As far as I know, he's never cited Hammett as
>an influence, although his Ph.D. Dissertation was on
>"The Big Three," so he certainly knew Hammett's work.
>The only other writer he ever cited as influential
>that I know of is J.F. Cooper, and even there I don't
>think he was talking about his own work so much as the
>genre in general.

>I'm not familiar with J.F. Cooper, and after re-reading 'Red Harvest', I
>think the similarities between Spenser and Hammett's Continental Op are
>even more striking. Spenser, while wry in his assessments of the human
>condition, just isn't as bitter as Marlowe. It could just be me, though.


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