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 ?
After 1930, Hellman's primary connection was with Dashiell Hammett, who "not only gave Lillian the space to develop her sexual persona but, in his sometimes brutal way, insisted on it.
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.
numerous other applications of the convention of extralegality occur in mysteries by Agatha Christie (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd), Dashiell Hammett (Red Harvest), Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep), and even William Faulkner, whose detective tale "Smoke" was published in Harper's in 1949.
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.
Eduardo Antonio Parra en esta primera novela sigue las antiguas lecciones de Dashiell Hammett, el maestro de la novela negra o criminal, al retratar a los parias, y hacerlo con un lenguaje coloquial.
Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett, edited by Richard Layman and Julie Rivett.
When one Fleet Street broadsheet was forced to admit none of its vast legions of senior, non-union executives had ever mastered shorthand, or typing, or the rudiments of English and had finagled their way to the top thanks to an ability to drink a litre of brandy while quoting Dashiell Hammett, the game was up.
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.