The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of Crime Fiction #6

Red Harvest (Dell Pocket Books, 1943)


Rob said...

My all-time favorite Hammett. Strange how it's never been made into movie, by that name at least. I love the part where the Op wakes up with his hand around the icepick, that's stuck in a dead broad's breast. How much more noir can you get. That's a nice cover, that gets the basics right out.


swac said...

I haven't read it in ages, mainly because I gave away my old beatup '70s paperback of it, and haven't had it around. But I found a nicer Vintage/Black Lizard reprinting, and plan to dive in again with gusto.

There's just something about ice picks...