Re: RARA-AVIS: Domenic Stansberry

Date: 30 May 2005

Brian wrote:

"..... but I think it's possible to upset the genre while also writing within it. I think Hammett and Chandler were able to do that just fine, have quasi-happy endings, and include in some of the fatalism - if you will - that Stansberry advocates."

While I agree with your point about H & C having quasi-happy endings and including fatalism, I've got to question your implication that Hammett upset the genre. Of course, it depends upon what genre you are discussing. As Chandler argued in Simple Art of Murder, Hammett did upset the old genre of mysteries, but in so doing he helped establish a new, hardboiled genre that had not previously existed. This is the whole question surrounding the establishment of genre -- when does it actually become a genre with set expectations? Of course the best genre writers offer a synthesis between their take on the tradition and innovation. For instance, Chandler knowingly wrote to this new tradition, but he mixed in enough innovation that he ultimately became paired with Hammett as an exemplar of the genre.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 May 2005 EDT