By Brian Docherty

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Extra info for American Crime Fiction: Studies in the Genre

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The proof is back in Baltimore, where the detective with a camera eye finally finds and arrests the singer Velma Valenta, whom Moose Malloy and Marlowe have been searching for. Velma tries to make a deal but the detective refuses. 'Let's go then', she said and stood up and got her coat from a hanger. She went over to him holding the coat out so he could help her into it. He stood up and held it for her like a gentleman. She turned and slipped a gun out of her bag and shot him three times through the coat he was holding.

Chandler once distinguished between 'two kinds of writers; writers who write stories and writers who write writing', 37 and his own delight in language argues for a careful formalist criticism. As with Dashiell Hammett, his self-conscious style provides a metafictional commentary on a popular genre, whose aesthetic they both shaped and questioned. But this does not remove their work from history or from the corresponding concerns of writers and artists in less sharply defined areas than hard-boiled fiction.

1; Penguin edn (Harmondsworth, 1966) p. 6. 15. Graham Greene, A Gun for Sale (1936) ch. 1; Penguin edn (Harmondsworth, 1963) p. 6. 16. , p. 8. 17. , ch. 3; p. 17. Graham Greene, Brighton Rock (1943) pt 1, ch. 1; Penguin edn 18. (Harmondsworth, 1943) pp. 15, 8. 19. , pt 2, ch. 1; p. 43. 20. William Faulkner, Sanctuary (1931) ch. 1; Penguin edn (Harmondsworth, 1953) pp. 5-7. 21. , p. 5. 22. Ibid. 23. Sinda Gregory, Private Investigations: The Novels of Dashiell Hammett (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985) p.

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