RARA-AVIS: HB is dead

From: Juri Nummelin ( jurnum@utu.fi)
Date: 20 May 2000

RRandisi@aol.com wrote:

> "Hardboiled," in it's truest and most accurate form of the
> word, did exist from the 30's to the 50's, and possibly the 60's.

Here's my two pennies worth: hardboiled literature is not dead, it's obsolete. At least in the traditional form with private eyes and untrustworthy clients. The genre began almost as a parody of itself (with Chandler, of course, but has anyone read William R. Cox's short stories about Dumb Dan Trout: utter parody!) and now when some writers take it seriously, it seems a bit funny and silly. There must be something else besides PI's and swell babes. And there are: I think the line from someone like Horace McCoy via Peter Rabe to someone like Pelecanos is something where hardboiled literature is best kept alive. We've been many times talking about private eyes and what's suitable for them. I know now: let's dump them. But let's keep the nostalgia for ourselves and still read Chandler, Bill Cox and others who had fun back then.

Juri jurnum@utu.fi

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