RARA-AVIS: M Taboada's "hardboiled characters"

From: Doug Bassett ( dj_bassett@yahoo.com)
Date: 06 Jun 2000

Don't want to get into an endless discussion of definitions again, but Mr. Taboada's recent posting got me to thinking. Actually, two questions occurred to me:

1. Can you have hardboiled characters in a non-hb book?

2. Can you have a hb book without hb characters (as Mr. Taboada defines them)?

I'm thinking about this because right now I'm reading Kent Anderson's SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, and while I like it fine -- indeed, it's a great book, maybe the best Vietnam book I've read -- I'm not sure it's a hb book. Oh, the characters are definitely hb, but the approach, for lack of a better word, is "literary". There are diffracted points of view, a broken-up storyline, poetic images with a capital "P", etc.

On the other hand, I've always considered Bukowski's work to be hb, though his protagonists (for the most part) wouldn't hurt a fly.

So I guess I disagree. Oh, well. :)


===== Doug Bassett dj_bassett@yahoo.com

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