RARA-AVIS: Others Between Hammett & Chandler

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 03 Dec 2003

It struck me tonight that in our discussion of the last few days we have talked about Hammett's influence and Chandler's influence and tipped our hat to Race Williams as the first HB detective. There has not been much focus on the other writers in Black Mask and elsewhere who took their lead from Hammett and made their own contribution to the form in the crucial years leading up to Chandler's first sale. The hardboiled world did not begin with Hammett and then sit untouched and unaltered for Raymond to make his debut. As he surveyed the market in 1933, there were certainly other influences and models available for Chandler.

Raoul Whitfield is an example of a writer who was a force to be reckoned with in 1933 when Chandler sold his first story. A star in Black Mask, novels published by Knopf, praised by Hammett, who could know that his writing career would be all but over by 1934. But check out GREEN ICE (1930) or DEATH IN A BOWL (1931)--both have had fairly recent reprints that should be easily found or the still in print JO GAR'S CASEBOOK which reprints his series of stories about a Philippine PI.

By the way, this has been one of the best threads of the last year on Rara.

Richard Moore

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