RARA-AVIS: RE: The meaning of hardboiled

From: Dick Lochte ( dlock@ix.netcom.com)
Date: 11 Jul 2000

In the year or so that I've been on this list the search for an acceptable definition of "hardboiled" has occupied an enormous amount of time and space and it doesn't seem as if it's brought us any closer to a consensus. The discussion isn't boring, just pointless. As Fats Waller (or, depending who's telling the story, Louis Armstrong) once replied when asked to describe jazz music: "If you have to ask, you don't want to mess with it." Since we're here, messing with it, we probably don't have to ask. We know what hardboiled is: it's the kind of stuff we like. Otherwise, we'd be on some other list. It's no big deal if the endless quest goes on; only a few more seconds of pressure on the scroll key. But which is the more interesting
(and/or productive) question: Is Raymond Carver (to use an arguable case) hardboiled? Or: Is Raymond Carver worth reading?

Dick Lochte

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