Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

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In 1939 the American detective novel was in its early developmental stage. A few writers, notably Rex Stout, S.S. van Dyne, and Ellery Queen, were attempting to graft the Sherlock Holmes model to the American landscape, and one brilliant innovator, Dashiell Hammett, had completed three novels in a new sub-genre, the tough guy detective – The Dain Curse and Red Harvest (both 1929) and The Maltese Falcon (1930). A substantial number of short stories in the new mode were coming out of the pulp magazines, especially Black Mask, some of them written by ex-oil company executive Raymond Chandler, who wanted to become known as a crime novelist. That year, Chandler produced one of the most important and i…

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Citation: Dougherty, David C.. "The Big Sleep". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 June 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1461, accessed 03 June 2023.]

1461 The Big Sleep 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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