We remember Dashiell Hammett, who died on this day, January 10 in 1961. He said of himself, "I’ve been as bad an influence on American literature as anyone I can think of." Other authorities in the writing community would beg to differ.
“Dashiell Hammett is as American as a sawed-off shotgun… It is true that he is so hard-boiled you could roll him on the White House lawn.” –Dorothy Parker, The New Yorker, 1931
“Great crime fiction started with Hammett.” –James Ellroy
“Hammett is one of the best contemporary writers.” –Gertrude Stein
“Hammett was the ace performer… He did over and over again what only the best writers ever do at all.” –Raymond Chandler