RARA-AVIS: Pronzini

pabergin (pabergin@gte.net)
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 21:15:49 -0400

Bill Crider asks:
<<And let me say something right here about Bill Pronzini: is there anyone who's done more to promote the mystery? >>


Bill is the sort of tireless defender of an idea -- in his case, the notion that crime fiction can also be ART -- who in an earlier time would either have been given the crusaders' tunic or burned as a heretic. He soldiers on.

Bill and I have shared correspondence for five or so years now. We met once, briefly, at the Monterey Bouchercon, but mostly we rifle each other a letter, every six months or so, mostly full of our respective takes (he is an author; I am a critic) on what's going on with crime fiction and, by extension, American literature.

We spend a lot of paper trying to out-grouse each other. So far, we're about even. The one thing that comes through, consistently, is that Bill is a guy who keeps the faith -- no matter how badly the marketplace may have treated him. This is a guy who turned out one of the masterpieces of 20th century crime fiction (and YES, it is hardboiled) -- BLUE LONESOME, then followed it up with one of the most insightful dissections of small town small-mindedness -- A WASTELAND OF STRANGERS -- ever written, and still isn't bitter about the way these books were treated.

Little pissed, maybe, but not bitter. And he should be. Hammett - Chandler - MacDonald, indeed. Ross Mac was a one-trick pony. Oughta be Hammett - Chandler - Pronzini. Has anybody done any more for the mystery than Bill Pronzini?

No. And, happily, he ain't done yet. PB

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to majordomo@icomm.ca.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu 12 Aug 1999 - 21:14:54 EDT