RARA-AVIS: Encyclopedia Britannica

William Denton (buff@pobox.com)
Thu, 11 Nov 1999 22:39:24 -0500 (EST)

The Britannica is now free (except for the ads) for browsing. Their entry on hardboiled fiction is at


They say it's "a tough, unsentimental style of American crime writing that brought a new tone of earthy realism or naturalism to the field of detective fiction. Hard-boiled fiction used graphic sex and violence, vivid but often sordid urban backgrounds, and fast-paced, slangy dialogue" That's pretty good. They do credit Hammett with its invention, though, and we all know that's wrong.

There are entries on Chandler and Hammett, but nothing special.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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