Re: RARA-AVIS: Maltese Falcon

From: Patrick King (
Date: 21 May 2008

--- wrote:

> I'm with Mario and John. Spade isn't a particularly
> nice guy, but I
> don't think his attitudes towards gays were at all
> unusual for his
> times. And it's not like he was targeting random
> gays. He was beating
> up those who threatened him and his. Don't think
> he'd have reacted much
> differently if it had been a straight man who
> pointed a gun at him,
> though he probably would have given him a more
> "manly" beating, instead
> of pointedly emasculating him by slapping him and
> taking away his "gun."
> As for gunsel, the Rara Avis site's glossary of
> hardboiled slang
> contains Earl Stanley Gardner's story about how
> Hammett got that word
> past editor Shaw and into the pages of Black Mask.
> Here's the direct
> link:
****************************************************** It is interesting that all the male villains in The Maltese Falcon are homosexual stereotypes and that the ultimate villain, Brigid O'Shaughnessy, is a misanthrope who lures men into criminal behavior, murdering them or leaving them for others to murder when they've out lived their usefulness to her. While on the opposite side is stalwart, heterosexual, Samuel Spade who may play fast and loose with the truth in the face of psychosis but in the long run, unlike Archer & Jacoby, does not fall prey to the lure of illicit sex. Donald Spoto wold have a field day with the underlying psychology of this novel.

Patrick King


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