RE: RARA-AVIS: Hammett's Op

From: Brandt Dodson (
Date: 02 Oct 2007




Mario wrote:

The Op is clearly a professional.

************* Not clear to me. At least not in Red Harvest. Red Harvest is personal.


__________________________________________________________ If a professional is one who operates with NO personal involvement, then yes, the Op is not a professional. But I tend to agree with Mario on this one. The Op may have crossed the line, but doesn't that make him human? A more appealing character? Less professional as a result?

Doesn't George Smiley do essentially the same thing when dealing with Karla in Smiley's People?

This is a problem for all of us at some point. In my recent novel The Lost Sheep, my protagonist acts on a personal matter by using skills he's acquired in his profession. He crosses the line, but I think that makes him real which serves to highlight those time he acts otherwise and thereby is seen as a "professional".

Just a thought.



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