Re: RARA-AVIS: Spenser Hardboiled?
23 Nov 99 10:51:00 -0500

       Gerald gives a working definiton of "hard-boiled" as a
       "prevaling urge toward cycnicism, suspicion, doubt, fear, and
       violence." I don't say that he's wrong, but I think it's
       really a lot more simple than that. As I've said before,
       "hard-boiled" historically, and I think for the purposes of
       this list, is nothing more than that which is tough-minded and
       colloquial. Qualifying for the sobriquet "hard-boiled" is not
       necessarily a sign of literary excellence. There are many
       hard-boiled writers who are pretty bad. There are others who
       are mid-level. There are a few who are truly excellent.
       Non-hard-boiled crime writers startify in almost exactly the
       same way.

       Using this simplified defintion, by the way, Spenser, like him
       or not, is hard-boiled. He is certainly tough (at times almost
       unbelievably so), and he is certainly colloquial.


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