Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: Hard-Boiled and Pronzini

Date: 20 May 2000

    Writing fiction, hard boiled or otherwise, is such difficult work that we should probably not come down too hard on the efforts of any "tested by time" author. For each of us, there are folks who light our candles and folks who don't, writers who speak to us and others who don't. I like some of Pronzini's stories, but whether I do or I don't should have nothing to do with my opinion of his announcement that "HB is dead," and I don't need to claim that he's a lousy writer to insist that's he's made an error of fact probably born of hubris.
    Every year or so, somebody is telling us that "the novel is dead" or "the theater is dead" or "the short story is dead" or "jazz is dead." Often the claim seems to come from someone who is angry at the then current behavior of the alleged corpse, or who has nothing more to contribute themselves, or who has moved on to other things.
    There's little reason to take any of that stuff seriously. As frustrated as I get with George Pelacanos at times, I have but to look at what he is doing to know that the HB detective story ain't dead, i.e., no longer mutating, advancing, speaking in new tongues.
    In fact, with all this dead stuff around, it's amazing any of us can find anything worthwhile to see, or read, or listen to. Life goes on and so does art of all stripes, despite claims and wishes to the contrary.

                                        Jim Blue

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 May 2000 EDT