Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: kafka quote

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 21 Apr 2000

> I'm from the "I can't define it but I know it when I see it" school.
> If the writer's philosophy is basically hard-boiled, doesn't that
> color his writing? And, conversely, if the writer is of a "cozier" mind
> won't his characters lack the bite of hard-boiled style?
> In my mind, that quote certifies Kafka as a very hard-boiled thinker.

No. It's not about personal philosophy. It's about the text. Chandler would have to be excluded under your definition because if you scratch the HB surface, he's a Romantic. Remember the problems of biographical criticism. What a writer thinks, what a writer says, and what a writer does are all separate from the writing. I'm not one of the "author is dead" school (popular about 10-15 years ago), but think there are certainly people with cozy mindsets who know how to write fiction well enough that they end up with a hardboiled character. There are writers who are open to the possibilities beyond their own temperments. Elmore Leonard? Jim Thompson? Ross Macdonald?

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 21 Apr 2000 EDT