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

Date: 08 Jun 2000

    I think we've shot this sucker about a hundred and eleven times and it's still dead. Three major problems with the defining we try to do or to evaluate are that:
    - Some categories are best understood intuitively, with fuzzy definitional boundaries. The more you try to nail them down, the less useful they become.
    - Some of the "learned" theories about what is pulp or hard-boiled or
                noir are nonsense and are better off being ignored. The Caine Mutiny was pulp fiction? C'mon.
    - By the time we've worked each case over for a while, the category name has been so overchewed, its lost its flavor, and its meaning. If everything is "pulp," then nothing is, the same for hard-boiled, etc.
    I start squirming when useful category names get masticated into mush, or get twisted and tortured until the original framework is no longer visible. But that's just me. Maybe everyone else is having fun and learning something.

                                        Jim Blue

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