Re: RARA-AVIS: Whitfield's GREEN ICE

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 05 Nov 2002

Mark Sullivan wrote:
> This reminds me of seeing the group My Bloody Valentine (or Glenn
> Branca, for that matter). They played a single note, very loudly, for
> 17 minutes. After a few minutes, your mind begins to fill in things
> like melody. It seems to me that Hammett does much the same, stay right
> at the fact, leading the reader to fill in his own emotions. As Mario
> has pointed out, this is very hard to do well. Who else has succeeded?

********* Hemingway's short story "Killers" is written strictly in this fashion. It came out in a collection called MEN WITHOUT WOMEN in 1927. To a lesser extent THE SUN ALSO RISES, published in 1926, also uses this style, but it's written in first person and Jake does make a few personal observations.

In TOUGH GUY WRITERS OF THE THIRTIES, an essay states that with this short story, Hemingway taught the hardboiled crew how to write. Although I find this a laughable exaggeration, I wish that I had a collection of the early Black Mask stories to compare to the later ones. Most Black Mask collections don't have many stories pre-1927, do they? Did Hammett learn from Heming- way, or did Hemingway learn from Hammett?


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