Re: RARA-AVIS: Ellroy

Mario Taboada (
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 20:22:00 -0800 (PST)

Paul Bergin:

<<There are so many talented mid-list authors out there who are doing viable, and valuable, work that I find the notion of wasting any more bandwith on a subliterate cretin like Ellroy offensive.>>

I have to disagree, if only in part: I don't think Ellroy is subliterate or a cretin. There are two works of his that I think will make the hardboiled canon: Clandestine and The Big Nowhere, especially the latter. Ellroy himself has said that his work is self-exploitation; my fear, which I have expressed here before, is that he has written himself out.

He has a humorous vein that, if anything, surpasses his ability to write ultraviolent and sadistic scenes. I believe he could do great comic work if he would let himself. As far as I'm concerned, he has already done his share in the hardboiled field.

Like him or not, he is a living classic. How many crime authors of his generation have achieved that? I don't think his success is purely a result of self-promotion. There's a lot of talent there, and a lot of hard work. Admittedly, there is also a lot of tiresome puffery and self-inflation, but nobody said great writers have to be likable public people.

End of rant, to be continued.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu 30 Dec 1999 - 23:23:38 EST