Re: RARA-AVIS: SHANE and Hardboiled Writing

From: Bob Toomey (
Date: 20 Mar 2000 wrote:
> I'm wondering if it [Shane] might have been a turning point in the
> depiction of violence in cinema in general and in crime writing in particular.
> The only pre-1953 hardboiled writing I've read has been Edward Anderson, Horace
> McCoy, Hammet, and Chandler (sheesh, there must more...some of the really early
> John D. Macdonald?). Anyway, I can't remember just how realistic the violence
> was. It's been a few years.

In Melville Davisson Post's "Corpus Delecti," written around 1898 and collected in THE STRANGE SCHEMES OF RANDOLPH MASON, there's a three page scene of a murder followed by the dismemberment and destruction of the corpse in an acid bath that rivals any modern horror story for clinical detail.

Or try Ambrose Bierce's "Oil of Dog," a crime story written even earlier, for a violent black comedy designed to turn the stomach. Bierce was never one to turn away from the accurate and disgusting depiction of violence.


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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 Mar 2000 EST