Wondering if Zoom would work for you?
Try this Zoom recording of "The Private Investigator – An American
Zoom Recording - An American Original
we will investigate the development of the uniquely American private
detective novel. Along the way, we will use these books to view America
at a moment in time when everything seems to be changing fast – the
The first half
of the program features pictures and places of ‘where we were’ in the
1920s when Hammett was formulating this American art form that will
spread around the world!
Eye: America's Contribution to Literature
October of 1923 Dashiell Hammett places in the pages
of Black Mask magazine "Arson Plus" - the first Continental Op
adventure. The story is told in first person narrative with sparse,
direct action statements. The writing commands your attention. We the
readers see it all through the eyes of a thirty-something operative for
the Continental Detective agency, a man whose name we will never know.
We experience every step as the case unwinds, and feel not only the
excitement of the chase, but also the Op's sore feet.
This honest if
overweight Operative - the Op - will win over the readers with smart
decisions and keen observations. The Op will go on to star in 28 stories
and two novels!
Plus," "Slippery Fingers," and "Crooked Souls," all following in quick
order in the pages of Black Mask, Hammett begins to create a new wholly
American detective story, with new rules, new expectations, and new
style. Within a year, he is already the accepted master of the new genre
of action oriented detective stories with 'hardboiled' operatives whose
see the world through clear eyes in the unromantic era following the
1920-1940, Hammett started with the characters Continental Op, Sam
Spade, and the Thin Man. Raymond Chandler then followed in Hammett's
footsteps with the character Philip Marlowe. These stories set readers
on the edge of their seats in the 1920s, both in books and in the
subsequent movies. "The Maltese Falcon" was filmed three times before
they found the right person to play Sam Spade. Bogart put his stamp on
Spade, and then went on to play the ultra-cool Philip Marlowe in
Chandler’s “The Big Sleep.”
Today, more people know the movies than the books, but it was the
authors that created this new form of fiction. We will see how these
characters, and this new art form took over the world. Along the way we
will answer how the books compare to the movies, and what influence do
the books, characters, authors, and stories have on our time? That is
the mystery we are attempting to unravel as we investigate the Private
Eye: America's Contribution to Literature!
"Russ is outstanding. He uses numerous, flexible learning approaches to
accommodate the adult learner.
His students consistently comment on his mastery of material!"
– Dr. Lyn Brodersen, Scott Community College
Why Hire Russ
Gifford?| Connect with Russ Gifford