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Literally Psyched

Literally Psyched


Conceived in literature, tested in psychology
Literally Psyched Home

The shortest farewells are the best

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Bogart starred as Spade in the 1941 adaptation of Hammett's novel.

“Well sir, the shortest farewells are the best,” Casper Gutman—the fat man—tells detective Sam Spade near the end of Dashiell Hammett’s classic noir novel, The Maltese Falcon. “Adieu.” And with that—well, that and a farewell wave to Miss O’Shaughnessy—he leaves the whole affair behind. Quick, to the point, effective. So effective, in fact, that the line made its way intact to John Huston’s equally classic 1941 film of the same name, as Sydney Greenstreet takes his final leave of Humphrey Bogart. (You can watch the exchange here.)

It seems somehow fitting to borrow his inimitable exit as I, too, take my leave, bidding a bittersweet farewell to the Scientific American blog network. It has been a true honor to work with such a talented group of bloggers and editors over the last two years. I have learned more from my colleagues—and grown more as a writer under the watchful and nurturing eye of Bora Zivkovic—than I ever thought possible, and I am sad to leave such a wonderful community behind. Writing “Literally Psyched” as part of this network has been a remarkable experience.

While, unlike Mr. Gutman, I’m not going off on an expedition to Istanbul, I’m excited to embark on some new adventures of my own. I’ll be making some more specific announcements in the coming months, over Twitter and Facebook, but in the meantime, I’ll be blogging regularly for the New Yorker, and you’ll be able to follow my pieces here. I hope to see many of the same readers, despite the change in venue!

There is much, much more that I want to say—and many more thanks I want to give—but taking Gutman’s cue, I will abide by the philosophy of the short farewell. And so, adieu. I hope that many of you will follow along with me in the coming months. Thank you for being such a wonderful audience, always.

Image credit: Bogart in “Maltese Falcon,” WikiMedia Commons.

Maria Konnikova About the Author: Maria Konnikova is a writer living in New York City. She is the author of the New York Times best-seller MASTERMIND (Viking, 2013) and received her PhD in Psychology from Columbia University. Follow on Twitter @mkonnikova.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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