Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Nits Picked While You Wait....

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 08 Jun 2000

Ray Skirsky wrote:

> I have some 1890s Strand magazines, and they look like pulps, but the paper
> was slick. The
> type of fiction in them is more akin to American pulps than to American
> slicks.

Well, this poses quite a problem: in 1890s there were no pulps, so how can one say that the type of fiction in Strand magazines was akin to pulp. I know that Argosy started in 1896, but was it real pulp at the time? I don't think so. Maybe you're thinking dime novel fiction, which certainly was a forerunner to much of the pulp fiction.

> If you don't consider
> Sherlock Holmes pulp, then what about Prof. Challenger?

I don't know such character.

> I'm aware that Fu Manchu's US appearances were
> in slicks (Colliers, I believe) but were his adventure tales (or Kipling's) all
> that different
> from, say, Talbot Mundy?

Haven't read any Talbot Mundy. I know him, of course, but these exotic adventures seem to form a subgenre in pulp fiction that can be and usually is separated from the usual definitions of pulp fiction. Well, there is Edgar Rice Burroughs, who isn't considered a pulp writer, even though he was namely that.

> The direction I'm going here is that I think that my definition of pulp is
> that, if it was written in the
> time of the pulps, and it wouldn't look out of place serialized in
> Adventure, or Argosy, or Thrilling
> Detective, or Weird Tales, or Short Stories, or, .... Then it is pulp
> fiction, regardless of where it
> appeared.

Agatha Christie? John Dickson Carr? They were published in pulp magazines, would you consider them pulp fiction? Would Tarantino qualify them as pulp fiction? And what about Gorman, Greenberg and Pronzini?

> After the pulp era, well, if you could transport it back to the
> pulp era, would it fit in?

Sax Rohmer published many paperback originals in the fifties, I think with Fawcett
(if I'm wrong, correct me). Maybe he is pulp fiction after all.


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