Re: RARA-AVIS: hardboiled: no crime/Cain/the author or the work?

From: Mike Cunningham (
Date: 27 Apr 2000


Thanks for your excellent post on Cain. I agree he does not easily fit into the hardboiled category on the whole. In fact, probably some of his stuff would actually qualify as 'literature'. :) I also find it very interesting that many of the writers we consider hardboiled held Cain in contempt. I remember seeing a very negative reference to Cain by Chandler. Horace McCoy and another writer whose name escapes me (possibly Hammett?) were also unhappy about being compared to Cain. Does anyone know the source of the ill-feelings? Were these other authors jealous of Cain's critical acclaim?

>As I said in one of my first postings, James M. Cain told me on a number of
>occasions that he did not consider himself a hard boiled writer; that he
>being listed along with Hammett and Chandler, etc. because his primary
>interest was not in crime or violence, but in passion and the relationship
>between a man and woman (usually a strong, untrustworthy woman) which might
>lead to crime and violence.

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