Thursday, June 23
I finished The Maltese Falcon yesterday evening and thought about it as I drifted off to sleep. I decided that it represents the end of an older order while The Thin Man represents the beginning of a newer order. The Maltese Falcon concludes the morality inherent in all of the Continental Op books: the lonely operative who recognises his sense of morality as futile and doomed in the end to mean nothing, but nonetheless feels an imperative to carry on. The death of Spade’s partner at the beginning of the book and its ultimate meaningless to everyone including Spade signals this, as does the long parable Spade tells about a man whose life changes instantly when a falling girder almost hits him, but changes into something almost identical to his previous life.
In The Thin Man the retired detective feels no urgent need to involve himself, and nor does his drinking represent an attempt to dodge this need. It signals a decision to prioritise having fun in a cruel world over attempting to save it.
Having decided that I spent some of today participating in gardening. I noted the pots on the planting table. I also thought about Hydraulic Pump, the full 12 inch version, and why I keep getting drawn back to it.
I think it has something to do with the extra two bars that, to my hearing, occur at the end of the repeating chorus section.