Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My New Literary Boyfriend.

I have a confession to make. Since before our marriage my darling husband has had to tolerate my disloyalty. I have always had a coterie of literary boyfriends (fictional characters, and poets and authors long since departed from this earth) with whom my affections were shared. His only consolation was that none of them actually existed on the physical plain.

For years there was only one fictional detective who owned my heart and that man was the sharp dressed, witty and suave Archie Goodwin. For Archie I swoon. For Archie I pine. We met in Rex Stout's first Nero Wolfe mystery, Fer de Lance. From that moment on I was lost. Timothy Hutton played Archie to such perfection in the television series that now when I read the novels I can see Archie swaggering along the New York pavement, his hat at a jaunty angle.

But I met someone new. I met Sam Spade - Archie Goodwin's evil twin. Sam is a hard-drinking, viper-tongued, womanizing rogue - and I love him. I know I shouldn't. I can't help myself. Over the years I've seen empty shadows of the original character saunter across the screen, but all of them lacked the nuance and depth of Dashiell Hammett's hard-boiled detective. None of them did justice to the original.

Archie, I'm so sorry. I never meant to treat you wrong. You'll always be my first and best detective love, but from now on you're going to have share the stage with Sam Spade.

5 comments:

Jennie said...

ooh Archie!!! I've never read the Nero Wolfe mysteries (shame on me!) but I have seen the television series which I love!

the mother of this lot said...

When I was a kid I always loved the hard-drinking, viper-tongued Sam Spade. Hmmm.....maybe there's a lesson there

Liz said...

Hee Hee... glad to see you love Dashiell's men as much as I do. But it will always be Nick for me. Or maybe it's just William Powell. Oh, I dont care. :)

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Oh Sam, I'd better loosen the corset now! Perhaps you'd better start a secret boyfriends club rather like AA. Most of mine belong to the dead (and mostly gay) boyfriend club - Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Noel Coward etc..

Jennifer said...

I've always LOVED the name Dashiell. If I had had the guts, I'd have named Jack "Dash." It was actually on the list - but it was a long list. Didn't make the cut.

Instead, we went with Jack. Obviously we decided to play that one safe. :)