Re: RARA-AVIS: you're HOW old?

From: Maura McMillan (
Date: 05 Jan 2000

when i was in high school i was blown away by the russians. not literally. i wasn't that much a threat. but seriously folks. my mother read us beowulf when i was 5, haven't gotten over it yet, either - i started on hesse at 10 and dostoyeffsky at 12 and then tolstoy and some other guys. all i remember about high school lit, meaning things i was assigned, are our town and lines composed above tintern abbey. high school was an -experimental- time for me, not one in which i paid much if any attention to what was being taught. (flunked algebra one twice - it made me SO tired) i suppose my first exposure to the hb genre came in my early 20s, when i read about 25 jd macdonalds in a row. even now very little of it (hb) fits my requirements for 'literature,' but i have discovered some truly fine hb writers who transcend the genre - willeford, thompson, pelecanos, brackett, etc - my only disappointment in any of them being that there's not enough of any of them to meet my needs. not even thompson, who i read last year in his entirety without a stop. the only other writer i've binged that way with is flannery o'connor, her collected short stories. but enough of this.

i was born in 1955, graduated from hs in 1973.

At 07:33 AM 1/5/2000 -0800, you wrote:
>Jim Doherty mentioned his belief that most people on this list were first
>"blown away" by a hard-boiled writer while they were in high school. I'm
>wondering if that is true, just as I am wondering if most of you were born
>after '58, as another recent post suggested.
>I was in high school in 1958, with my reading basically consisting of what
>was assigned in class. I spent most of the 60's as an on-again off-again
>literature major, again reading assigned books, plus Kerouac, Hesse,
>Tolkein, Heinlein and others that were popular at that time. Next followed
>a period of reading primarily fantasy and science fiction, but I finally
>found myself burned out on that about 5 or 6 years ago, at which time I
>started reading mysteries. Of course there were overlaps; I think I read my
>first Hammett a couple of decades ago, led there by Lillian Hellman's
>At any rate, rather than accepting the generalizations I've seen posted to
>this group, I'm curious about your ages and reading history.
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