Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler, Hammett & bravery

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 11 Dec 2003

Kerry Schooley wrote:
> As for Hammett, I too thought his time as a Pink was generally thought to
> have influenced his work more than his war experiences. And that it was
> their activities as strike-breakers and servants of capital, not their
> crime-fighting, that influenced his outlook. Doesn't Hammett tend to deal
> with class issues, mostly relations between the lower and middle classes?
> thought The Thin Man was an Americanization of the British cosy, treating
> matters of crime among the rich with superficial wit and whimsey. Maybe
> thinking more of the subsequent movies.

************************* Of the few Marlowe and Con Op novels I've read, the clients are rich, but both detectives deal with low lifes in solving their cases.

I think that one of the strongest Pinkerton influences on Hammett might not have been his experience as much as the literature, such as Alan Pinkerton's series which included MOLLY MAGUIRES. Purportedly non- fiction, the idea of the hardboiled detective, violent and riding the hairy edge of legality, gets a fairly good fleshing out decades before Daly and Hammett published.


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