RE: RARA-AVIS: Haut's 'Pulp Culture'

From: John & Carrie (
Date: 18 Mar 2000

Frank sed (regarding Haut's Pulp Culture):

> It's a matter of taste and opinion of course but I was disappointed
> by the book. To me it was just one more example that a too
> ideological approach can destroy the most interesting field of
> research.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, that "an ideological approach can destroy...", but hell, all cultural artifacts are the product of one ideology or another. Now, Haut has a tendency to stretch things without really providing any support for what he's saying, but it's one of the few critical studies on hard-boiled that makes that attempt, so I credit him for at least making an effort in developing some literature on the ideological basis for pulp.

> Egg-heady? I am not sure. My impression was that Haut often
> takes the easy way out when he is dealing with authors he
> dislikes.
> E.g. to classify Spillane seriously as a "fascist" (page 12) seems
> to be more a triteness (hope that this is the word I am looking for)
> than a serious approach to me.

It is trite to the extent that terms like "fascist" and "communist" are passe. However, if one attempts to determine the ideological viewpoint from where a writer is coming from, it seems to me that Spillane is indeed coming from at us from a "fascist" viewpoint.

On the other hand, I think Spillane is a hoot. So go figure.


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