RE: RARA-AVIS: *To Have and Have Not.*

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 07 Apr 2003

Bludis Jack wrote (snipped):

...Unlike the cool, sharp businessman, as played by Bogart. This Harry Morgan is a loser. He is screwed or doomed, take your pick.

No matter what Harry does to get out of the difficult financial situation, with a need to help his wife and two daughters, he gets himself deeper and deeper into trouble.

Hemingway left out a lot of commas and a few letters, but the point is that some men, and it usually is a man who is truly alone, don't have a chance.

That, I think, is the ultimate definition of noir protagonist.

************** Excellent comments. Only thing I can think to add is Hemingway's own comment about the book, stating that it was:

"...devoted to adultery, sodomy, masturbation, rape, mayhem, mass murder, frigidity, alcoholism, prostitution, impotency, anarchy, rum-running, chink-smuggling, nymphomania and abortion."

Could you possibly ask for more?

Philip Young, in his Focus on TO HAVE OR HAVE NOT in Madden's TOUGH GUY WRITERS OF THE THIRTIES, makes his objection to the book being interpreted as Proletariat:

"TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT comes in the darkest night of the soul, not the dubious dawn of social pronouncement."

The first part parallels Jack's comments.


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