RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Small World

From: Words from the Monastery (
Date: 06 Jul 2000

Is that a blanket statement like yours assuming that all Americans don't want to read foreign authors or are less accepting and tolerant of other cultures because publishers (a very small minority group in the US) don't chose to publish their works in America?

From my experience other cultures are fare less accepting of Americans as per your example than the other way around. Come on done to DC sometime and we can talk about it over lunch ... what's your preference? We've got Ethiopian, Pakistani, several Chinese subcultures, Vietnamese, Korean, British, French, German, Thai, Indian, Iranian, Irish, Italian, Japanese
(great sushi bar across the street from where I work), Greek, Latin-American, Mexican, Russian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Peruvian, Philippine, or we could do lunch at the Canadian Embassy ... I created the AUSCANNZUKUS web site and presented it there, I should be able to get us into the cafeteria, but I don't know if they have any authentic Canadian fare ... there is a steak place near where I live that promotes itself as a Canadian hunting lodge. 'Course that's just what's listed in my Virginia phonebook, the DC phonebook most likely has even more cultures ... but you can find the same in any large city in America. Just curious, but is the same true in Canada? I've only been there on camping trips and didn't eat at any of the restaurants.

What's that saying? Do as I say not as I do? ;)

Since hard boiled hasn't been defined, I think there is a legitimate argument that it may be an "American" form as there's a legitimate difference in a female and male hard boiled perspective ... other crime fiction from other nations would not be hard boiled, but simply fall under the larger umbrella as "crime fiction." Or more likely in my opinion is that what constitutes "American Hard Boiled" is unique to America and its culture while there is an equivalent, but unique "British Hard Boiled" as there is a
"Chinese Hard Boiled" or a "Canadian Hard Boiled" ... there's another factor here as well. If "hard boiled" is uniquely American and a German author writes a "hard boiled" story by copying the American style then it's not a
"German hard boiled" story, but a "hard boiled" story written by a German.
(Being half German I feel okay about dissing my own ethnicity). When an American copies the British cozy style of Agatha Christi or Dorothy Sayers they are not writing an American version unless American aspects are used in the work ... if the work copies the style it doesn't expand what the style encompasses just the body of writers who write it. Since Poe invented detective fiction it has been an American genre ... others have put their own unique views. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a perfect example.

volente Deo,

Anthony Dauer Alexandria, Virginia

"... down these mean streets a man must go
 who is not himself mean, who is neither
 tarnished or afraid."

            --Raymond Chandler (1888-1959)

Banned by the Washington Post ...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kevin Burton Smith
> Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2000 9:42 AM
> Well, certainly no more naive and certainly far less of a blanket
> statement than assuming all European hard-boiled writers "are pretty
> limpdicked imitations of the real deal" or that "Such casualness (as
> evident in HB) is not natural to Europeans." Such statements go a
> long way towards explaining why Americans are often seen as being
> less accepting and tolerant of other cultures.

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