Tuesday, 27 May 2014

27 May in literature

This day Dashiell Hammett was born in Maryland in 1894. Don't we all love Dashiell Hammett? If we don't read the books we certainly saw the films with Humphrey Bogart among others. The Maltese Falcon for example. I also loved the series movies with William Power and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles in his book The Thin Man. Elegant and full of humour.

Hammett left school at 13 and took a lot of different jobs until he got one with the Pinkerton's detective agency. He worked as a detective for eight years and turned his experience into books. He set the tone for later writers like Raymond Chandler. His fictions became known as the "hard-boiled" style. Who better to characterise this than someone like Humphrey Bogart as his detective Sam Spade.

Hammett became involved with playwright Lillian Hellman who served as a model for Nora Charles in The Thin Man. The characters of Nick and Nora Charles was made into several films. Hammett and Hellman was romantically involved until Hammett's death in 1961.

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