domingo, março 08, 1981

Daft: “The Dain Curse” by Dashiell Hammett



(Original Review, 1981-03-08)


"We don't do it that way...You're a storywriter. I can't trust you not to build up on what I tell you. I'll save mine till after you've spoken your piece, so yours won't be twisted to fit mine."

In “The Dain Curse” by Dashiell Hammett


"'Are you -- who make your living snooping -- sneering at my curiosity about people and my attempts to satisfy it?'
'We're different...I do mine with the object of putting people in jail, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should.'
'That's not different...I do mine with the object of putting people in books, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should.'"

In “The Dain Curse” by Dashiell Hammett


Hammett's main stated intention with the work was to attempt to make something approaching literature out of the detective genre. He clearly based his characters on people he knew but that doesn't preclude him also having other motives and working with other frames of reference. And in the end, this discussion exists outside of what Hammett really intended.

The work he created is dense enough to support multiple readings and resonate with other works of literature, and it is simply interesting to speculate on these.

I don't think any of us with our readings are claiming that Hammett meant it that way- we are just articulating ideas and references which have come to mind while reading “The Dain Curse”. There are plenty of books in the hard-boiled category about which it would be impossible to have these kinds of discussions, but “The Maltese Falcon” is, for a number of us, one which throws up many leads and echoes. I regularly re-read my Hammett. Yes, all 5 novels, including the thoroughly daft “The Dain Curse”…

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