Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Pellecanos (and Adams)

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 07 Feb 2000

> Why not? Why shouldn't I do the same of Hammett and Pelacanos. What I'm
comparing is craftsmanship not writing styles of the times or popular culture.
>Everything else is either poor craftsmanship or a writer who can't
> shut up or who is showing off. Pelacanos is too good to be guilty of poor
> craftsmanship.
> You may love the way he shows off because because you find that it speaks
> to you; I'm that way about Hunter Thompson, Louise Redd, and John Gregory
> Dunne. That doesn't mean the writing is effective


I figure we won't find a common ground on this. To hold Hammett up as a model for craftsmanship is fine--for one type of craftsmanship. And to say that the MTV&information age type writing style is not effective and therefore the HB writer must stand above it with a certain type of style, well, still says to me something about a reluctence to change. So, my sticking point is that I'm not sure I get your idea of change. I see GP's work as effective writing. I've discussed economy and fast story writing with my boss here, who even encouraged us to a "fast and dirty" ethic in which the story is the most important thing, and should be written quickly, and sometimes the sentences might be a little ugly or go too long, but there's a beauty in something that's unpolished like that. The story might go to strange places, and so be it. And in George's novels, this happens and I'm attracted to that. I see other others of a particular age "showing off", like Bret Eston Ellis, some recent Ellroy, John Ridley. That's where I see the author butting in (and in these cases, I don't care, I accept it, even though I do see THAT as bad craftsmanship, being too, too clever, they are). But in GP's, I see characters going and doing and exploring, and what they do becomes the story instead of a vehicle for the resolution of a plot.

I do like the thought provoking of all this, even though it looks like we still disagree.

Neil Smith

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 07 Feb 2000 EST