RARA-AVIS: Re: Macdonald, Hammet, Chandler, Compassion, et al

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 02 Dec 2004

Jimmy D. wrote:

>If Macdonald was so influenced by Chandler, it follows
>that everyone who's influenced by Macdonald is simply
>being influenced by Chandler at one remove.

But it's one hell of a remove. Macdonald added something to the mix
(compassion, empathy, whatever you call it, plus a certain psychological depth) that Chandler didn't -- and from pretty snide comments he made about Macdonald, probably wouldn't have.

Oh sure, Chandler may have made "templates" and he may have shown
"compassion" now and then, but latter day Macdonald took the genre kicking and screaming into areas Chandler never did. Which is why I think a lot of people look to Macdonald as the third and final part of the original holy trinity of hard-boiled.

I'm not sure if anyone else has added much more really new to the P.I. genre since, though, with the arguable exception of Robert B. Parker. Oh, there have been some great P.I. writers, but to be considered influential, you also have to sell beyond a small cult audience, and capture the imagination of the general public.

I've always liked the last Archer, THE BLUE HAMMER. That's my vote.



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