RE: RARA-AVIS: DeLillo, Murakami, Kafka, hard-boiled definition

From: John & Carrie (
Date: 19 Apr 2000

Doug sed:

> The problem here is that qualifier, "somewhat." I might not say
> DeLillo is
> hard-boiled, but I might say he is somewhat hard-boiled. His prose is
> sometimes too stylized to qualify for erstwhile avian James Doherty's
> insistence on colloquial language. DeLillo's Running Dog, if not
> toying with
> classic hard-boiled, is at least fooling with political
> thrillers.

As much as I enjoy DeLillo's work, I just don't see neomg hard-boiled at all. That he might use devices that all writers have used at one point or another doesn't put him even close, IMHO. If we are talking about paranoia as somehow putting him close to some of the political thrillers, you have Pynchon whose work is likewise not hardboiled.

None of the PoMo guys have ever done any hardboiled, with the exception of early Burroughs. I'm hoping that Robert Coover, who has already done a series genre-benders, might someday tackle hard-boiled.

> Your post raises an intriguing problem about influence and definition.
> Japanese (postmodern?) novelist Murakami was interested in
> hard-boiled enough
> so that the word "hard-boiled" appears in the title of one novel
> (at least as
> it is translated in the U.S.).

Just started reading this, so far it's like Alphaville and Philip K. Dick. Id also be interested in hearing more about him.


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