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Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Their Detectives
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Secant Publishing 2016
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For close to fifty years, three masters of the hard-boiled detective novel dispatched intrepid gumshoes into upper-crust homes and seedy back alleys, peeling back and exposing all the pretexts of polite society. Or did they? Were there even closer, darker secrets they never quite copped to? In Hard-Boiled Anxiety, Karen Huston Karydes offers a new and unsettling reading of the classic pairings: Dashiell Hammett and his successive shamuses, the Continental Op, Sam Spade, and Nick Charles; Raymond Chandler and his brooding knight errant, Philip Marlowe; and Ross Macdonald and his 1960s sleuth, Lew Archer. Each novelist, though celebrated in the American pantheon, harbored ghosts, injuries, and a guilty backstory of his own. Their fictional detectives served as doubles, in ways both flamboyant and subtle, as the authors wrestled inner demons and labored, in Karydes's words, to "write themselves well." Included are remarkable observations from a memoir kept by Ross Macdonald as he underwent psychotherapy in the 1950s, never divulged at this length until the publication of this volume. Sigmund Freud, welcome to Sunset Boulevard.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/01/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781944962005
ASIN:
B01BIDJ2LU
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APA Citation (style guide)

Karen Huston Karydes. (2016). Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Their Detectives. Secant Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Karen Huston Karydes. 2016. Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Their Detectives. Secant Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Karen Huston Karydes, Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Their Detectives. Secant Publishing, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Karen Huston Karydes. Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Their Detectives. Secant Publishing, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Karen Huston Karydes had a twenty-four-year career at the Arlington County, Virginia Department of Libraries, focusing on adult acquisitions and reference. She then ran the library for inmates inside the Arlington County Detention Center for five years. She has master's degrees in English from New York University and Library Science from the University of Maryland. At sixty, she pursued her interest in literary biography by entering the University of Maryland's Ph.D. program in English Language and Literature. After receiving her degree in 2010, she returned to full-time public library work and is now the Acquisitions Librarian for the Talbot County Free Library in Maryland. She assisted Edmund Wilson and William Faulkner scholar, Lewis Dabney, write a book about John Dos Passos. Her book, Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald and Their Detectives, is based on her dissertation.
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For close to fifty years, three masters of the hard-boiled detective novel dispatched intrepid gumshoes into upper-crust homes and seedy back alleys, peeling back and exposing all the pretexts of polite society. Or did they? Were there even closer, darker secrets they never quite copped to? In Hard-Boiled Anxiety, Karen Huston Karydes offers a new and unsettling reading of the classic pairings: Dashiell Hammett and his successive shamuses, the Continental Op, Sam Spade, and Nick Charles; Raymond Chandler and his brooding knight errant, Philip Marlowe; and Ross Macdonald and his 1960s sleuth, Lew Archer. Each novelist, though celebrated in the American pantheon, harbored ghosts, injuries, and a guilty backstory of his own. Their fictional detectives served as doubles, in ways both flamboyant and subtle, as the authors wrestled inner demons and labored, in Karydes's words, to "write themselves well." Included are remarkable observations from a memoir kept by Ross Macdonald as he...

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Hard-Boiled Anxiety
fullDescription

For close to fifty years, three masters of the hard-boiled detective novel dispatched intrepid gumshoes into upper-crust homes and seedy back alleys, peeling back and exposing all the pretexts of polite society. Or did they? Were there even closer, darker secrets they never quite copped to? In Hard-Boiled Anxiety, Karen Huston Karydes offers a new and unsettling reading of the classic pairings: Dashiell Hammett and his successive shamuses, the Continental Op, Sam Spade, and Nick Charles; Raymond Chandler and his brooding knight errant, Philip Marlowe; and Ross Macdonald and his 1960s sleuth, Lew Archer. Each novelist, though celebrated in the American pantheon, harbored ghosts, injuries, and a guilty backstory of his own. Their fictional detectives served as doubles, in ways both flamboyant and subtle, as the authors wrestled inner demons and labored, in Karydes's words, to "write themselves well." Included are remarkable observations from a memoir kept by Ross Macdonald as he underwent psychotherapy in the 1950s, never divulged at this length until the publication of this volume. Sigmund Freud, welcome to Sunset Boulevard.

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      • premium: True
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        Starred review from July 1, 2016
        Behind the gangsters, corrupt plutocrats, stoic gumshoes, and femmes fatales hovers Dr. Sigmund Freud, who masterminds the mayhem in classic private-eye stories, according to this study in Freudian lit-crit. Like a shrink decoding a patient's dreams, Karydes reads the roiling imagery of sex, violence, and betrayal in the stories and novels of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross Macdonald in light of these authors' own troubled family histories. Thus, Hammett's strained, guilty relationship with his ne'er-do-well father and his mother, who had to shoulder the family's responsibilities, works its way into idyllic scenes of a neophyte detective and the fatherly boss who mentors him and darker stories of scornful wives turning on failed husbands. Chandler's clingy mother and self-loathing homosexuality are transformed into sexually voracious women and eye-popping male beauties who beguile his lonely hero, Philip Marlowe. Macdonald's even clingier, schizophrenic mom appears in his novels in a series of quasi-incestuous relationships between older women and younger men. Freudian interpretations are a natural for private investigator stories. The detective plays the hard-pressed ego, charged with guarding a moralistic superego, embodied in the social establishment, against the underworld's idlike forces--only to discover in the disillusioning climax that these polar opposites have always been in bed together. Karydes' take on that critical approach in this debut book, complete with lengthy quotes from psychiatrists and occasionally rote diagnostics--"the Electra complex...is axiomatic in the development of girls"--is sometimes a bit too heavy-handed in its psychoanalytic orthodoxy. Her hero is Macdonald for his long bouts of analysis, his confessional memoir, which she rediscovered and cites extensively, and his self-conscious deployment of Oedipal conflicts throughout his books ("Fathers in Macdonald's best novels fail to protect their sons by leaving them to mothers who then treat their sons like husbands"). Still, Karydes discusses this gnarly material in a vivid, accessible style that yields cleareyed and sympathetic insights into these authors' lives and captures the seething psychological power in their works. A shrewd, illuminating, and entertaining exploration of the twisted roots of writerly creativity.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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