Re: RARA-AVIS: The Case for Raymond Chandler

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 07 Aug 2002

The thesis that Chandler imitated Hammett would need more explanation than the author gives --a lot more, because it's false.

To me, they are polar opposites and the origins of the two great schools of hardboiled writing: what we call informally THH or Twain-Hemingway-Hammett style and the romantic style loaded with wisecracks and colorful green metaphors pouring furiously, or RSL-WW&CGMPF for short.

Few US crime writers escape this polarity, the most obvious ones (to me) being Chester Himes and the group of noir masters descended from Cain, such as Goodis, Willeford and Thompson, all the way to Kent Harrington and James Ellroy.

The other day, I was thinking that Gault is so good because he combines the best of THH and RSL-WW&CGMPF.

Best, and sorry for the scrambled post. It's dangerous to be around so many guys high on goldmedal dust.


"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.

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