Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Crazy About the Bird

From: Patrick King (
Date: 31 May 2008

--- Eric Chambers <> wrote:

> Kevin Burton Smith wrote,
> > The belief that there is a "dingus"
> > handed down from the Knights of Malta, encrusted
> in
> > jewels covered with lacquer, is fanciful. Killing
> > people to get hold of it, is psychotic.
> Fanciful? It is a work of fiction, after all.
> And it is never suggested in the novel or the
> films that the real
> statuette doesn't exist in the FICTIONAL world that
> they depict.
> Merely that the bird in hand at the end of the
> story is a fake, which
> gives the ending a rather noirish poignancy.
******************************************************* I'd say it's strongly suggested by Spade anyway that he doesn't buy into Gutman's story at all. When Effie says, "The part about the bird is thrilling." Spade counters, "Or ridiculous," or words to that effect. People who kill each other over buried treasure are not well, just like gamblers who murder each other. It doesn't really matter if a jewel encrusted statuette lies hidden in some Greek grotto. This is a work of fiction that explores a certain type of mental illness. It's very close to Charles Manson and his race war as a motive for mass murder.

Patrick King


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