Re: RARA-AVIS: Dashiell Hammett

From: Marc Seals (
Date: 23 Mar 2004

----- Original Message -----

> Thanks very much, Marc! I don't have the Layman book, so in a nutshell,
> these revisions major? Did they "improve" the original versions, in your

I have not read the serialized versions, but according to Layman, Hammett
(at the request of editor Blanche Knopf) cut a bit of RED HARVEST's violence. Though the content was largely unaffected, nearly every sentence shows revision. Pronouns became nouns, contactions were expanded, sentences reordered, phrases deleted, names changed. Layman says that the "changes were intended to tighten his prose, to make it clearer and sharper" (93).

Layman says the changes for THE DAIN CURSE were similar, though Hammett was not as cheerful about making the revisions this time.


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