RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Those were the days (was Creationism vs. Evolution (was Once more...)

From: John & Carrie (
Date: 02 Sep 2000

Mark sed:

> I used to be a big fan of Ellroy's, but I'm less and less
> thrilled with him. I think he added greatly to the medium with his
> morally complex characters, but I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable
> with his use of certain language and attitudes, then glibly excusing
> himself with, "They talked/thought like that in those days." Well, who
> chose to set his book in those days?

I'm certainly not gonna defend Ellroy's use of language and the like. It bugs some readers and others like his stuff notwithstanding (count me among the later). But Mark, I'm sure you're not saying that because things weren't kosher back then, they shouldn't be written about. If anything, the more things change, the more they remain the same in terms of language, un-correct depictions of women and minorities and the like. Hell, just look at the RICO suit filed against the LAPD.

Ellroy is a jerk. No argument from me. But he's not the only one who writes about the attitudes and uses the language that I think you're talking about.

Chandler didn't write about those attitudes in stronger terms 'cause he just couldn't get away with it back then. Even so, Marlowe could use the racial epithets with the best of 'em.


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