RARA-AVIS: Who is a PI?

pabergin (pabergin@gte.net)
Tue, 11 May 1999 13:47:11 -0400 Gary, MT & Mari write:
<<there is no PI as I would define it.>>

<<Now the question: Would Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins qualify as a P.I.?>>

<<Oh, and the question: Would Reg Hill's Joe Sixsmith qualify as a PI. seems
he never gets "paid". >>

I just LOVE these issues which promise spirited debate with little or no
hope of consensus. To me, the fictional PI represents less an occupation
than a stance -- an attitude, if you will. Who is closer to the idea we have
of a PI? The licensed but sedentary Nero Wolfe? Or characters (all
unlicensed) like Travis McGee, John Deal, Gabriel Du Pre and (the early)
Matt Scudder?

Crazy-making, ain't it? For myself, I look upon any character who is engaged
in an investigation for a private party . . . or for private reasons . . .
as a PI. The job's basically the same, anyway, and labels are just a

Of course, I know there are other viewpoints.

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