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

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 03 Dec 2003

Mr Doherty wrote:

> Again, let me reiterate, I'm not saying Chandler's
> better. I'm saying that, for better or for worse,
> he's the more influential. Or at least, the more
> OBVIOUSLY influential.

I agree with all of this (indeed his whole post, which I snipped for brevity's sake). Chandler reimagined the PI story as another version of the archetypal "hero who goes out and confronts a sea of evil" tale, which of course has immense traction with everyone -- who doesn't like to root for a hero? He's accessible in ways that Hammett sometimes isn't. Hammett, I think, it more "artsy" (oddly so, when you think about their respective bios.) -- he's all about stripping the trappings away from society and taking a good hard look at what he feels the universe really is
(Flitcraft story in FALCON). He's essentially a Modernist, I think, though not often thought as such.

Again, not value judgements: if I had to list my ten favorite novels in the genre two of them would be THE GLASS KEY and FAREWELL, MY LOVELY


===== Doug Bassett

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