RARA-AVIS: Chandler or Hammett? -- Plus A Glance At John Morgan Wilson

From: chrisaschneider@earthlink.net
Date: 02 Dec 2003

I was reading this article tonight --


-- a fairly obvious article about novelist John Morgan Wilson, containing fairly obvious remarks about Raymond Chandler and his influence, when the thought struck me: "Why is it that I usually hear about Chandler and his influence, and almost never about Hammett? Is the RC influence that much greater, or have I been listening to the wrong conversations? And, if there are writers one could point to as Hammett acolytes, who exactly would those writers be?"

Call it a result of the fact that, though I love both "Farewell, My Lovely" and "Red Harvest," it's the latter one that I'd rather spend time with. At least this week.

Comments, anyone?


P.S. Speaking as a San Diego resident, and as someone who worked in La Jolla for some 13 years, I would question that description of L.J. as a "staid seaside community." Even in Chandler's 1950s. It's closer, I'd say, to descriptions of Chandler-ite Pasadena -- i.e. an enclave of the monied and conservative who, like many who can afford to purchase their pleasures, do so with determination and avidity.

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