Re: RARA-AVIS: Another Heresy -- The Black Mask and other pulp fiction

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 06 May 2005

Dennis Lynds wrote:

> What I strongly suspect Hammett was doing in it was trying to make a buck
> by
> giving his perceived audience what they wanted, and at the same time
> metaphorically savage his hated Boise.

You're close, Dennis, but I think you're still one state off. Poisonville isn't a literary avatar for Boise. If memory serves correctly, it's an avatar for Butte, Montana. Hammett went there as a Pinkerton strike-breaker during the troubles with the Wobblies after the I.W.W. tried to unionize the poor Irish immigrants working that mammoth copper mine there.

All the Best-

Brian Thornton

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