Re: RARA-AVIS: Style vs Attitude

Date: 10 Feb 2000

In a message dated 2/10/00 11:04:58 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< The only point I disagree with is NOT reducing it to formula. You're far too kind. Most pulp writing was exactly that: formula, often imposed by the editor. >>

The formula as I see it was fast-paced action in very short bursts. Short sentences, short paragraphs, short chapters, etc. All leading up to a climax, often violent. They worked fast and in a stream of consciousness way, though. And this formula allowed them to inject a great deal of themselves, personally. I believe we all think in sentence fragments, and this is one way I can tell, when browsing in the Salvation Army, if a book is hard-boiled or not. Are the sentences grammatically correct, or are they the way people think? (And is there a seminude twist and/or a guy with a heater on the cover?) I feel I can tell a lot more about a pulp writer than a writer of
"literature." So yes, it's a formula. But it brought out a great deal in the writer, in terms of how they feel about the human animal, etc.

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