Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The Flitcraft Parable

From: Patrick King (
Date: 28 Feb 2008

Hammett loved these kinds of asides. Remember the story of the Donner Party and Alfred Packard Nick Charles tells the Wynant boy in THE THIN MAN? That's the first time I ever heard of the Donner Party and I found that creepily fascinating.

The Flintcraft Parable also works as a major hint to the reader that Brigid is the perpetrator in this story. What Spade is suggesting to her is that a person comes to certain crossroads and decides which way to turn. Even at that point in the story, he's telling her, it's not too late to be straight with him. Of course she isn't and that leads to the fabulous ending. By the end of the book, it is much too late for Brigid to process the Flintcraft Parable and change the way her life will proceed.

Patrick King
--- Dick Lochte <> wrote:

> I go along with the general theory that the parable
> is Hammett's way of
> letting readers see a little into Spade's psyche.
> But I've always thought it
> also was another example of a writer putting himself
> into his creation.
> Hammett was a guy who, assuming his biographers are
> accurate, was a working
> detective who adjusted to not being a detective, who
> married a lovely nurse
> because, well, he was in this hospital, then
> adjusted to a life of not being
> in a hospital. And to carry it past the time when he
> wrote The Maltese
> Falcon, he was a writer who adjusted to not being a
> writer. A little
> simplistic, but what the hell ...

      ____________________________________________________________________________________ Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Feb 2008 EST