Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hammett, Nabokov, Rabe: An Eternal Golden Braid

We know Westlake was a Powell's another somewhat unexpected influence:

THIS WAS A VERY early novel, and the first one in which I did any experimenting. There were writers I admired -- Dashiell Hammett, Vladimir Nabokov, Peter Rabe -- who could do something I very much envied, which was to make you feel the emotion in a scene without ever referring to it directly. It all roils below the surface while the surface remains apparently calm. In 361, I set out to learn if I could do that. I enjoyed the process and enjoyed the result, and I find I still do. I'm delighted to see it back in print. (from Donald Westlake's website.)

Clearly I need to get this book ASAP! Here's chapter one. (I've just finished The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, which I hadn't read since 1992!)

(I don't know who Peter Rabe is.)

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Blogger Sarah Weinman said...

Rabe is a criminally underrated writer, one whose work I'm less familiar than I ought to be. He wrote primarily in the 40s and 50s and Hard Case Crime is reissuing one of his books, STOP THIS MAN! in August, I think. Stark House has also reissued a number of Rabe novels, too.

12:05 PM  

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