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"A whirling black arm of the night": Dashiell Hammett writes a mean stickfight

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    "A whirling black arm of the night": Dashiell Hammett writes a mean stickfight

    Now *this* is how to write a fight scene ...

    http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/20...are-town-1924/

    The technical descriptions sound a lot like Irish shillelagh stick fighting, which would still have been part of pop-culture consciousness in 1924.
    Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.

    Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)

    #2
    Well, Dashiell Hammett, after all. Even I can follow it.

    I always liked Louis L'Amour's boxing scenes (such as in "Lando"), and he had been a professional boxer at one time.

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      #3
      One of the best fight scenes I've ever read was the jiu-jitsu match in D.H. Lawrence's "Women in Love" (1920); almost zero technical content, but he really captured the energetic subtleties of grappling.
      Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.

      Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)

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        #4
        Beautiful.

        @DdlR: Do you have that scene from the JJ match somewhere in electronic form?

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          #5
          The jiu-jitsu contest between the characters Gerald and Birkin starts about 1/3 of the way down the page here - http://www.classicreader.com/book/979/20/ . It's not overtly sexual, but energetically and erotically sensual. I'd say that it's probably the finest writing ever applied to a jiu-jitsu bout.
          Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.

          Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)

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            #6
            Thank you :)

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              #7
              Originally posted by DdlR View Post
              almost zero technical content, but he really captured the energetic subtleties of grappling.
              I think that's really the key to writing a great fight scene, & it's incredibly difficult. The author has to give enough information to set the tone of the fight & give some basic sense of what's going on so that people who understand fighting can fill in the details for themselves rather than knit pick what seems wrong & people who don't know fighting will still know who's winning & losing, but be free from a confusion of technical details.

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