Re: RARA-AVIS: The Maltese Falcon

Date: 10 Sep 2004


Re your comment below:

> I've wondered about that physical comparison. Is
> Sam Spade
> being ironic? Bogart doesn't fit that description
> [tall, blond Satan].

Actually, you know who does? Hammett. And Hammett's actual first name wasn't "Dashiell" but "Samuel."

It seems that the closer Hammett came to protagonists who fit his physical description, the farther away he got from identifying with them in his writing. Hence, the Op, who's short and overweight, tells his stories in the first person and we see everything from his point of view. But Spade, who, like Hammett, is tall, extremely thin, blond, with an angular face that looks like it's composed from a series of v's (giving him a rather satanic look), has his story told in an extremely objective third person style that's very close to being the prose equivalent of a camera and tape recorder.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 10 Sep 2004 EDT