Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Search For Truth

On January 17, the Wall Street Journal printed a review of Dashiell Hammett's fifth novel, "The Thin Man". The title "Masterpiece - The Anatomy of a classic". The author is Tom Nolan, the editor of Ross Macdonald's "The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator." Nolan points out some of the flaws in Hammett's character, the fact that Hammett himself thought The Thin Man was boring reading even to himself. Also that the book was considered one of the lesser of Hammett's novels. Yet the book produced a number of screwball comedy movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy that perpetuated that impression.

But Nolan believes this book is worth a reread as it is "still a sparkling comedy of manners within which lurks a vision of human affairs as grim as any social realist's."

What enticed me to write this blog is Nolan's quote, "The Thin Man", in obvious and subtle ways is concerned with the search for truth--and with the many sorts of lies told by those who wish to evade or conceal the truth. There are blatant lies, crafty lies, polite lies, partial lies, laughable lies, meaningless lies, and just-practising lies. In the pursuit of truth you are told one lie and when found to be a lie that lie is corrected to another lie and continues until you'll find yourself believing the lie because it appears to be the truth and you become tired of being a disbeliever."

How true. But it appears people wish to shorten the time between the first lie and the truth because they have been deceived so many times by so many, especially those lies told by so many politicians, so many big ego people and so much of the media.

Not to mention much of the populace in general.

On 8/06/04, I wrote a blog titled, "Conceptions, Misconceptions, Perceptions, Truths, Subtle Falsehoods and Outright Lies". Also, my blog on 6/07/05, "Lies and the Ability to Defend Oneself". Also, 5/19/05, "Blind Beliefs" where I closed by saying "Facts are better than dreams of blind faith. It is far better to infuse the entire process with the brutal facts of reality". These blogs can be easily found in my sidebar archives and may be interesting reading to some of you.

I believe things never really change and are similar today as the famous quote attributed to Cecil B. DeMille "predictions are very difficult to make, especially about the future".


Anonymous said...


Please point to a case in which you were corrected on a point on this blog and then you went ahead and acknowledged the mistake.

Merle Widmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merle Widmer said...


I've posted 860 blogs. Point out all cases by date and title.

I've blogged that if errors are made on my site I would be glad to correct them.

Furnish proof of error.