Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler and THH style differences ?

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 30 Jul 2002

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

One notable difference is the use of metaphor and simile. Chandler uses them constantly, mainly but not only for comic effect. That is why I read and grasp Chandler sentence by sentence, whereas THH can be gulped by the paragraph. By slowing down the reading, time and action are perceived differently. This, in turn, helps Marlowe's voice dominate the psychological space of the story or novel.

Beyond figures of speech, there is Chandler's peculiar phrase structure (very hard to imitate well), and the internal rhyme of his prose. THH doesn't rely much on those devices. The sentences are straightforward and the movement more linear, even in psychologically complex novels such as Hemingway's _The Sun Also Rises_.

I once took a page of Chandler and pared it down to sound like Hammett. The effect is remarkable. The rewritten text sounds better as a whole but duller piecewise, which is the point.

I am sure others will be able to elaborate on this stylistic difference, and of course set me right if I've goofed.



"The skill of man is unequal to the formation of a new man from old materials, but the battered tenement may, with care, be long sustained by props" -- From Becklard's Physiology.

__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Health - Feel better, live better

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Jul 2002 EDT