I love what the group has to say about The Black Dahlia. Brenna brought up the Joker connection, which was brilliant, but also pointed out the two-cop connection to Cotton Comes to Harlem. Sarah went into detail about the real Black Dahlia case. That connection to real facts of history is important in Ellroy’s work. He shows a vision of the corruption in out society, which becomes more palpable reality is intertwined in the stories. Jlynch told us about the Glasgow smile, which I hadn’t heard about before. Kind of appropriate considering the Scottish roots of some of the characters. The idea of the black dahlia flower as a symbol of corruption was great as well. I knew it was a flower but never bothered to look into it beyond that. And Sarah looked deeper into the Zoot Suit riots that opened the novel. All these things add more nuance and depth to the book. This is either the third or fourth time I’ve read it, but it feels like new territory.
Fante came up in class discussion. Remember when we read Ask the Dust, and Jim was talking about that letter that Bandini wrote criticizing Sammy’s writing? As I recall, he said the letter “basically cut Sammy in half.” I remember thinking at the time, “Awesome foreshadowing, Jim.” Whether it was intentional or not, it’s another node in the web of noir we’re weaving.