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

Date: 27 Aug 2003

Thanks, Mark. It's possible the passage I recall isn't from Chandler after all. If you happen to remember where Pronzini might have discussed that, please do let me know. Even if it's not exactly what I'm looking for it may still be useful to me.

If anyone else knows of any discussions of this topic--the use of unnamed narrators in imitation of Hammett's Op stories--or has any thoughts about it, please let me know.

A related question: I believe Hammett said of the Op that he "didn't deserve a name." Does anyone kow where I read THAT?


<< 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.
 Mark >>

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