RARA-AVIS: Chandler and THH style differences ?

From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 30 Jul 2002

MrT said: If I were to teach someone to write crime fiction
(something far-fetched, but let's assume it), I would specifically tell them not to try to write like Chandler. It's already been done and it's dangerous. The Chandler technique is not transferable without degradation. On the other hand, THH is portable and available to anyone who has a story to tell.


although i can often sense differences in style, putting it into words is an elusive thing for me.

i've read twain, hemingway, and hammett. and i'm at least aware of chandler thru reading _the big sleep_. can you expand a bit on the differences between the THH and chand- ler style? i can see the classic differences between ham- mett's _red harvest_ and chandler's _big sleep_, but, to be honest, i see a lot of similarities between chandler's _big sleep_ and hemingway's _sun also rises_.

i do recognize that _the big sleep_ is first person and that hemingway's _sun also rises_ is what someone called
"objective" third person, meaning that the thoughts of the characters is not in the narrative. but marlowe and jake strike me as being very similar characters. they both project a stoic front, while inwardly being frustrated, with feelings of alienation from most of the world. al- right, i'm going on about character similarities when you were talking about style differences.

i'm at a disadvantage because most of my books are packed away right now while we are doing some remodelling, so i can't drag out copies of both books and compare, but i seem to remember thinking that even hemingway's and chand- ler's styles were similar. clean, precise prose and sharp, quick dialogue.

to reiterate, i would appreciate hearing anything you can tell me about the differences between the THH and chandler style.

thanks, miker

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