RARA-AVIS: Style vs Attitude

From: Z0MB0Y@aol.com
Date: 10 Feb 2000

In looking at recent threads on this board, there seems to be a lot of disagreement as to whether Hardboiled's a style or a world view. Now I'm not saying there isn't a downbeat attitude to it, but let's be realistic. These were not a bunch of existentialists sitting around in a cafe, expounding on their philosophies. They were the fictional equivalent of newspapermen, which many of them were. They wrote for very little money, so they worked fast, and they wrote for a market that demanded action and violence. If you look at how much most of them wrote, you'd realize they were making their Underwoods sing like machine guns. Don't get me wrong, a hell of a lot of them were very intelligent, and their personal philosophies came out in their work. But they were pragmatic writers who understood the medium. And much of the H-B school was based on very clipped sentences describing action. I think to understand the H-B writer, you have to realize they were writing for a market, and for a living. I wouldn't reduce it to a formula, but as far as getting published, they knew what sold.

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