RARA-AVIS: Re: Maltese Falcon

From: Stephen Allan ( steve@stephenallan.net)
Date: 22 May 2008

Well, it is true that Gutman and company are criminals and Spade defends himself against them, but the fact remains that, unlike in real life, their sexual orientation was a choice made by the author. But I have to agree that a revisionist approach is only good for highlighting the attitudes of the age, not in judging the material as a work of literature.

And Spade was not a nice guy. Hammett compares him to Satan in the first couple of sentences of the book. I'd even say that if the bird was real, Spade would have run off with Brigit. People tend to project a sense of moral justice on Spade and I think that's incorrect.

Stephen Allan www.noirwriter.blogspot.com

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