Thursday, April 3, 2008

Literary Lovers

We wrote about THE MALTESE FALCON and author Dashiell Hammett yesterday, but because the longtime romance between "Dash" and "Lilly" (writer Lillian Hellman) has always fascinated both The Famous Author and myself, I thought today I'd recommend PENTIMENTO by Ms. Hellman. It's a cold hard look at a a rather lousy love affair. Sad, really, in that you can tell Lilly really loved her man, but Dash was a jerk.

The movie version kind of sucks, but it makes Dash out to be a real villain. Maybe he was. But Lilly loved him.

It's the kind of story us rogues like to hear.

Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894—January 10, 1961) was an American author of hardboiled detective novels and short stories. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse). In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on film, Hammett "is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time" and was called, in his obituary in the New York Times, "the dean of the... 'hard-boiled' school of detective fiction".

Lillian Florence Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984) was a successful American playwright, linked throughout her life with many left-wing causes. She was romantically involved for 30 years with mystery and crime writer Dashiell Hammett (and was the inspiration for his character Nora Charles), and was also a long-time friend and the literary executor of author Dorothy Parker. She was the first woman to have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Thanks to Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

Imagine sitting around with those three--hard-boiled, leftwing, and witty as all hell. Is the movie really that bad?


Austin Carr said...

Actually, it's a lot like TFA's trips to Florida.

And TFA says he didn't actually get all the way thru the movie, so maybe the ending's not awful.