When Raymond Met Delilah

Caroline Blyth


Within cultural retellings of the Samson and Delilah story (Judg 16), Delilah is often presented as the quintessential femme fatale. In this paper, I consider the inspiration for Delilah’s cultural afterlives as femme fatale before exploring alternative ways to contemplate her character in the biblical text. As a guide, I read Judg 16 alongside Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled novel, Farewell My Lovely, whose plot bears strong echoes of the biblical narrative. I consider how Chandler’s complex approach to the femme fatale within his novel might invite new readings of Delilah’s character, which grant more multifaceted insights into her literary persona.


Delilah; Samson; Judges; Hebrew Bible; Raymond Chandler; femme fatale; noir; intertextuality

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11157/rsrr4-1-585