Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Trudy Kockenlocker

I brag at the beginning of that interview with Megan Abbott about the lack of fact checking. What a thing to brag about! Now I'm thinking I grossly exaggerated the influence of LOVE'S LOVELY COUNTERFEIT (the Cain novel) on MILLER'S CROSSING... BUT! In LOVE'S LOVELY COUNTERFEIT there is an Italian gangster named Caspar whose voice is "trembling with rage" one minute and the next minute he's nodding parentally as his fat wife and kid come in and tell him about the kid's day (while our henchman protagonist is sitting there) and then he gives the kid a penny. So does that sound familiar? Yes, because it is also a good description of a scene in MILLER'S CROSSING. But my overstated comparison has the side effect of wrongfully undercutting Megan's valid point (in the interview) that the men's relationship in Hammett's THE GLASS KEY is "Unique in all literature, really." What else? I spell Kockenlocker with a C, mistakenly. (Pictured, Betty Hutton as Trudy Kockenlocker. Hutton's father abandoned the family when she was a baby! She was singing in a speakeasy by the time she was three! Facts half-remembered and vaguely alluded to in the interview.)