Dashiell Hammett

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Related to Dashiell Hammett: Lillian Hellman

Hammett, Dashiell

(dəshēl`), 1894–1961, American writer, b. St. Mary's co., Maryland. After a variety of jobs, including several years working as a detective for the Pinkerton agency, beginning in the early 1920s he found success as a writer, largely originating the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. His stories, about 90 in all, are realistic, fast-paced, and marked by a certain sophistication and a merciless detachment. He was the creator of Nick Charles and Sam Spade, the latter being the original tough private eye. Hammett's novels The Maltese Falcon (1930), The Glass Key (1931), and The Thin Man (1932), are considered classics of the genre; all were made into successful movies. Lillian HellmanHellman, Lillian,
1905–84, American dramatist, b. New Orleans. Her plays, although often melodramatic, are marked by intelligence and craftsmanship. The Children's Hour
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, his companion of many years, wrote of their relationship in Pentimento (1973) and other autobiographical works.


See posthumous collections of his stories, The Big Knockover, ed. by L. Hellman (1966), The Continental Op, ed. by S. Marcus (1974), and Crime Stories and Other Writings, ed. by S. Marcus (2001); his Complete Novels (1999); R. Layman, ed., Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett, 1921–1990 (2001); biographies by R. Layman (1984) and D. Johnson (1987); J. Mellen, Hellman and Hammett (1996); studies by W. Marling (1983) and J. Symons (1985).

Hammett, (Samuel) Dashiell

(1894–1961) writer; born in St. Mary's County, Md. After serving in the army in World War I, he went to San Francisco where he became a Pinkerton detective and advertising copywriter, then, after the success of his first novels, a Hollywood scriptwriter. He published some short stories in The Black Mask but most of his work came out in a five-year period, starting with Red Dust (1929) and ending with The Thin Man (1934). He effectively invented hard-boiled detective fiction with his lean prose style and cynical detective, Sam Spade, and his work was praised by many serious writers and critics. Long identified with left-wing politics, in 1951 he spent six months in jail for refusing to testify about the Civil Rights Congress, of which he was a trustee. In 1953, after refusing to answer questions from Senator Joseph McCarthy's committee, he was blacklisted by Hollywood. He lived the last 30 years of his life with the writer Lillian Hellman.
References in periodicals archive ?
This novel recalls the classic mysteries of Dashiell Hammett or Ross MacDonald as Quinn deftly merges three stories and mixes in enough history to give this novel set in 1938 New York City authenticity.
Goodis was never ranked up there with the Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett (or Jim Thompson or James M Cain for that matter) and some of the stories here show why.
If Dashiell Hammett had written the stream-of-consciousness detective novel he once claimed he would like to, and that manuscript had been passed on to Edmond Jabes for severe line editing, then stolen by early-career Samuel Beckett to be dosed with bursts of hot humor and jaunty textures, then revisited by late-career Samuel Beckett for cooling and quieting, then borrowed by the late poet Jackson Mac Low to undergo various destabilizing textual operations, we might, if we could lay our hands on the resultant hybrid wonder, have some sense of the baffling, polymorphic territory limned in Robert Majzels stunning antinovel, Apikoros Sleuth.
Pulp novels of the 1930s often used the themes and characters of the period's proletarian fiction, and Dashiell Hammett was the most skillful purveyor of that convergence.
Columbia Broadcasting System involved the rights to Sam Spade, which Dashiell Hammett had sold to CBS for a radio show.
Both NBC and ABC, as well as major newspapers and wire services, emphasized that the closed-door "executive sessions" conducted by McCarthy took testimony from prominent private citizens such as composer Aaron Copland and novelist Dashiell Hammett.
He was drafted into the army in 1943, where he developed a passion for journalism, writing for his base's newspaper under mystery writer Dashiell Hammett, who served as editor.
A collection of essays edited by Whitney Chadwick and Isabelle de Courtivron, entitled Significant Others: Creativity & Intimate Partnership2 describes, among others, the relationships of Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin, Clara and Andre Malraux, Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett.
That theme is continued in "Part Four: Dreams and Awakenings 1915--1945," a period when--no matter that eastern critics like Edmund Wilson denied it--this state's literature surged, with major writers developing or settling all over the state: Robinson Jeffers, Dashiell Hammett, William Saroyan, John Steinbeck, Raymond Chandler, Nathaniel West.
With Watching I Wait he won the international Dashiell Hammett prize, for the best crime fiction published in Spanish in 1998.
He knew her and her companion, detective novelist and fellow blacklist victim Dashiell Hammett (who also served a jail sentence for refusing to give names) very well.
There's a great tradition of deviant criminals and gay gangsters," Arnott points out, "I love the Dashiell Hammett type, but there's always that [idea] that they're deviant sexually and so they're deviant criminally as well, But when you've got a central character that's gay, it becomes more and more normal.