G'night, Mickey

"I'm the most translated writer in the world, behind Lenin, Tolstoy, Gorki and Jules Verne. And they're all dead..."

One does not generally imagine the hard-boiled crowd weeping but -- under cover of starched handkerchiefs and carefully shaped fedoras -- they weep this week.

Though at 88 he was not young, and though few writers can boast the level of scathing reviews this author invited through the years, the passing of Mike Hammer creator Mickey Spillane marks the end of an era.

My hero, Raymond Chandler, was, notoriously not a fan of Spillane's. In a 1952 letter, he is said to have written that this "Spillane stuff, so far as I can see, is nothing but a mixture of violence and outright pornography."

From a certain view, Chandler's assessment was inarguable. An yet.

As J. Kingston Pierce commented today at The Rap Sheet:

Though, of course, many people thought Spillane was already gone, many years ago. This was in fact a tribute to his longevity and impact: How, readers figured, could someone who’d been at the crime-writing game for so long (his first private eye Mike Hammer novel, I, the Jury, was published way back in 1947) still be batting out stories on his old Smith-Corona typewriter?

Other writers have already commented on Spillane's passing, at home in Murrels Inlet, South Carolina on July 17, 2006.




You'd best go read them to get all the details. But I couldn't let the moment pass without comment. I lift my head and add my lament.

G'night, Mister Spillane.


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