Re: RARA-AVIS: European valuations of genre fiction

From: Marc Seals (
Date: 01 Feb 2004

----- Original Message ----- From: "Brian Thornton" <>
> As long as we're talking about writers who elevated Crime fiction to the
> level of literature, I have to agree on Chandler's better stuff as an
> choice, and would also advance the notion that Hammett's better stuff is

Brian, I agree. I'd include _Red Harvest_ in that list of Hammett's novels that merit attention. It is, as some scholars have observed, a very cinematically structured novel. It also may well be the first novel with a car chase scene! The novel also presents some intriguing class commentary that is especially interesting in light of Hammett's later political shift.
(In fact, my lone contribution-- so far, anyway-- to noir scholarship is a recent article in _Storytelling: A Critical Journal of Popular Narrative_ called "Thin Man, Fat Man, Union Man, Thief: Constructions of Depression-Era Masculinities in _Red Harvest_ and _The Maltese Falcon_.")

~Marc Seals

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