The article explores the so-called quantum measurement problem, or the collapse of a wave function in the act of observation, as a reading and interpretive strategy. In particular, the article argues that the Maltese falcon, if it exists at all, does not exist in Dashiell Hammett's noir version of San Francisco until Sam Spade attempts to find it in a particular place. Further, reading from a quantum perspective suggests that Casper Gutman does not really want to find the jewel-encrusted statuette, or one would have appeared more often. Drawing on the work of Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Henry P. Stapp, and other quantum physicists, the article explores the role that consciousness and acts of observation play in the calling into being of material reality as it is imagined in narrative fiction.

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