Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler on anonymous hardboiled narrators?

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 24 Aug 2003

This sounds very familiar to me, too, but I couldn't find it while flipping through Chandler Speaking. However, it occurred to me that Bill Pronzini said something very similar when discussing writing his Nameless Detective and how he finally had to give him a first name, Bill, when writing one of his collaborations, Twospot, with Collin Wilcox, in order to avoid the problem you mention. Pronzini talks about why his detective is Nameless in the preface to Casefiles (even denying that he is trying to capitalize on the Continental Op), but I'm pretty sure he discussed the problem that led to naming Nameless at greater length somewhere else (which, I think, included an example very much like yours -- the need for a name to address when Wilcox's Lieutenant Hastings talked to Nameless on the phone). Unfortunately, I don't remember where.


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