RARA-AVIS: Re: Once more into the breech...

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 29 Aug 2000

Ah, gee, here we go again.

Besides your say-so, why exactly is Kinsey Millhone not hard-boiled? And what sort of definition can you come up with that won't also disqualify, say, Lew Archer or Marsh Tanner or Travis McGee or Pronzini's Nameless? Or maybe even Marlowe?

If any trace of empathy, compassion or humanity renders a character non-hard-boiled, all we're left with is sociopaths like Hammer, Burke, Race Williams and Ellroy's damaged little boys.

I'm not saying Millhone is the hardest bitch at the ball, but she certainly is part of the on-going hard-boiled tradition, or at least the part of it that started years ago, maybe as far back as when Marlowe booted Carmen Sternwood out of his bed.

Oh, and don't you just love when academics get all hissy?


Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/
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