RARA-AVIS: Re: Chandler or Hammett

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 09 Dec 2003

Chris' friend said:

>"Chandler's atmospherics mesmerize, but Chandler's sense of evil is,
>at best, window-shopping. Dash has seen the furnace."

Pure myth-making. If there was a hell on earth at the time, it was the trenches of World War I. Chandler saw that evil first hand, and barely managed to survive. Chasing ferris wheels -- whether it actually happened or not -- doesn't even come close (though living with Lillian Hellman probably does).

The Op and Spade may have been taciturn, but boy, did Dash like talking about his Pinkerton past. Chandler, meanwhile, kept his private life, and particularly his war experience, private.

Hammett's much mythologized and romanticized years as a Pinkerton agent made for great promo copy, but an author's experience counts for relatively little compared to his imagination and talent and style, which both Hammett and Chandler had in spades.


Kevin Burton Smith The 2003 Cheap Thrill Awards are back. Vote now, vote often. http://www.thrillingdetective.com -- # Plain ASCII text only, please. Anything else won't show up. # To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # majordomo@icomm.ca. This will not work for the digest version. # The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

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