Re: RARA-AVIS: two questions

Juri Nummelin (
Mon, 30 Aug 1999 18:12:33 +0300 (EET DST)

On Fri, 27 Aug 1999 wrote:

> 1) how much right do you think Quentin Tarrantino has to use the title Pulp
> Fiction for his movie? I mean, is that movie really an homage to the genre,
> or just a collection of gore and violence and general mayhem?

Everybody seems to have answered the question, but let me try. "Pulp Fiction", I believe, is some sort of metonyme: it just means all the stuff that is written in pulp magazines, paperbacks, B or Z movies, Hong Kong karate flicks, bad comic books, porn magazines and the like. Tarantino said once that he has tried to take the people out of those contexts and place them in a different situations and contexts, so that we could get more alienated view of the original pulp fiction. In short, Tarantino has tried to make the people in pulp fiction to seem more real. (At least in
"Reservoir Dogs" and "Jackie Brown".) So the name is very righteous.

As for "Pulp Fiction" the movie, it is a great film, but I think it only as an essay on narration. Tarantino tries to tell the simplistic stories of pulp fiction in so difficult a manner that it's no more "just" pulp fiction. There is nothing more to the film - but nothing less, may I remind.

But the words 'pulp fiction' seem to have gone through some inflation. There are books like "The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction" and "American Pulp" and there are no aviation, no boxing, no circus, no western, no horror, no shudder or weird menace or no science fiction stories. Just crime. Is it Tarantino's fault, I can only guess.

I seem to have some sort of inflation myself - inflation of words!


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