RARA-AVIS: Re: Donald Westlake and the origin of Parker

From: Richard Moore (moorich@aol.com)
Date: 06 Jan 2009

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    There is this Hammett reference in the TAD interview from 1988 when DeAndrea asked him "What were your main influences?"

    Westlake: I started out writing everything--science fiction, mysteries, writing westerns, writing slices of life, you name it. You tend to go where they like you. Mystery wroties are what got published. science fiction, too, but mystery stories mostly. I didn't know that much about mysteries when I started. The writer I thought was the most wonderful was Hammett. And in the first two books in particular, I was really coming off Hammett. He was the tree I was climbing. the second one, Killing Time, I thought was a failure. I thought it was overwrought, that it tried to hard.

    The first "coming off Hammett" novel--and the first novel published under his own name--was The Mercenaries.

    Richard Moore

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Moore" <moorich@...> wrote:
    > As I recall Westlake's Smithsonian speech (which he read, rather than
    > speaking from notes), he said anyone reading sentences from Chandler
    > and Hammett aloud should recognize Hammett was the superior writer. I
    > really will hunt down tomorrow the TAD issue with his article that was
    > based on the speech and refresh my aging memory on some of its
    > highpoints.
    > Richard Moore
    > --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "jacquesdebierue"
    > <jacquesdebierue@> wrote:
    > >
    > > Richard, thanks for posting this. In a double interview he did with
    > > Elmore Leonard, both of them knock Chandler pretty heavily, and (if I
    > > remember correctly) they aren't crazy about Hammett, either. I am sure
    > > that they both said that Chandler's sentences suck.
    > >
    > > It's interesting that none of these two major crime writers are
    > > associated with the classic hardboiled mystery writers or with the PI
    > > tradition.
    > >
    > > Now, how many times has the PI gotten killed? No wonder they make him
    > > so durable.
    > >
    > > Best,
    > >
    > > mrt
    > >

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