Re: RARA-AVIS: The Marlowe Paradigm

Date: 06 Dec 2002


Re your question below:

> That said: Didn't Sam Spade follow the same
> paradigm?

Spade's one novel and three short stories are all third person narratives, and Spade apprenticed at "one of the big agencies in Seattle" rather than as a cop, so he diverges from the paradigm on two of the most common points.

> Did Chandler adapt from the Continetal
> OP and then Hammett adapt Sam Spade from
> Chandler's Black Mask work?

THE MALTESE FALCON predates the first Marlowe story,
"Finger Man" (which was actually originally a Carmady story, though even that wasn't clear for several stories) by three or four years.

Chandler's first PI series character, Mallory, appears in two third person short stories, and Mallory makes no mention of having been a cop prior to opening his own business, so Mallory may have been influenced by Spade.

When Chandler adapted the first-person mode for the Marlowe series he may have been following the example of Hammett's Op stories and since, in Marlowe's first appearance he's nameless (he's not identifed by name in "Finger Man"; in later stories he's called Carmady; and when "Finger Man" was reprinted in THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER the name "Marlowe" was inserted) that may also have reflected Hammett's influence.


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