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

From: William Denton (
Date: 30 Aug 2000

On 30 August 2000, wrote:

: I happen to think that this is a great time for crime writing and that
: in part this is because a lot of boundaries are being crossed.
: Perhaps this makes some people uneasy?

It doesn't make me uneasy, but it makes me see stuff called hardboiled that isn't. A PI who carries a gun and drinks, a decent citizen who gets mixed up in corruption, anything like that, can be done in such a way that people who like other kinds of mysteries will call it hardboiled. We've all got standards and definitions of what is and isn't, and sometimes they'll be met and sometimes they won't.

Compare it to jazz: to many, Kenny G is jazz, and Nigel Kennedy can swing hard when he wants, but no hardcore swing or bop or new thing afficionado would be caught dead listening to them. Still, people buy them and all manner of awful lite jazz and think they're getting the real thing. Some of them can't take the full power of Basie or Mingus. Some people venture into the soft, raw white of mysteries and think what they read is hardboiled. Others look out from a dried-up, rock-hard yolk, and others are in between.

Everyone's feeling of what counts is different. It takes all kinds to make a world.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : : Caveat lector.

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