Sunday, August 5, 2007

Dashiell Signs

To Blanche Knopf*
9 April 1928, 891 Post St., San Francisco

Dear Mrs. Knopf,

I am returning the Red Harvest contract, signed and witnessed.
This new title is, I think, a satisfactory one; though my first choice** probably disqualifies me as a competent judge.
Many thanks for the acceptance, and also for your wire concerning the motion picture dickering.
I included Red Harvest in the half a dozen stories submitted to the Fox Studio, and have hopes that something will come of it.
In accordance with the terms of the contract, I shall, of course, pass on to you any offer Fox may make for Red Harvest.
If, as seems quite likely just now, I make a more than transient connection with Fox, I'll probably let the stream-of-consciousness experiment wait awhile, sticking to the more objective and filmable forms.
Meanwhile, I'll have at you with another book next month.
Will you kindly put this dedication in Red Harvest.
"To Joseph Thompson Shaw"

Sincerely yours,

*Blanche Knopf was editor of Borzoi Mysteries, the line of mystery novels published by her husband's firm beginning in 1929. She accepted Hammett's "Poisonville," which was published on 1 February 1929 as Red Harvest.

** "Poisonville."
-from Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett 1921-1960 edited by Richard Layman with Julie M. Rivett; introduction by Josephine Hammett Marshall (Washington, D. C.: Counterpoint, 2001.) p. 48.