RARA-AVIS: Hard Boiled

From: Juri Nummelin ( jurnum@utu.fi)
Date: 07 Mar 2000

There was a discussion about the expression hard-boiled. I've been reading Jopi Nyman's "Men Alone: Masculinism, Individualism, and Hard-Boiled Fiction" and he claims according to the Oxford English Dictionary that the expression first appeared in the 1730s in some recepies. In the end of the nineteenth century it was applied to hats and other clothes. And then, via Mark Twain, some writers began to be labeled as hard-boiled.

Nyman is a Finnish scholar of hard-boiled literature and his two books on the subject (the other is "Dark Romanticism and Hard-Boiled Fiction") are available through Amazon. In his two books he studies
"They Shoot Horses, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", "To Have and Have Not" and "Red Harvest". In "Men Alone" there are some revisionist views of the genre's claimed political radicality. Strongly recommended, if you can stand the harsh criticism of your favourite genre.

Juri jurnum@utu.fi

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