Re: RARA-AVIS: Cain and Hammett

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 02 Oct 2007

--- wrote:

> While that may answer what a hero is no more, what
> is one in your
> estimation?
Here is the gist of it. It comes down to Jack's definition of screwed and whether Spade is screwed or not and not some revision of a hero. In Cain -- Postman, Double Indemnity -- in Woolrich -- Waltz Into Darkness, Manhattan Love Song -- you have protagonists who end up screwed.

Spade is not screwed. He is a hero in that he survives and solves whatever needs to be solved. He goes on. There's no need to argue the subtleties of laughing cavaliers or definitions of musketeers. It's that simple. That's what Jack meant and that's all there is to it and I can't believe we take so many side roads to get to the brightly lit gas station.

Look, I'm done with this. I love to argue but this is pointless. We're splitting hairs on the wrong end of the dog. If you want to believe that Spade is screwed and lives in a noir world, so be it. There is no doubt a theory and a reason but spare me. It's just not worth it. And I don't mean that in any hissy fit way, just sometimes you have realize that the twain won't meet.


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