Re: RARA-AVIS: Race Williams and the KKK

From: Chris Routledge (
Date: 23 May 2001

George wrote:

>I have to disagree with this. Conan Doyle never wrote
>a hard-boiled word in his life of which I am aware.

I didn't say he did. All I was saying was that there are precedents both fictional and non-fictional for the hard-boiled dick before Daly. Conan Doyle didn't write H-B fiction as we know it, but some of the work he did in (for one example) The Valley of Fear does have resonances with Daly, Hammett et al. All I was suggesting was that if Doyle was aware enough of the possibilities of the hard-boiled milieu to write about it (if not in the style of it) in the late nineteenteens, then it must have been "in the air" at least, before Daly did his thing. Surely where those ideas came from must be interesting, rather than just pinning it simply on a single creator. Single creators are VERY rare, and generally limited to major world religions.

>get my hands on his earlier piece, though), and it's
>been an accepted piece of PI trivia since William F.
>Nolan re-discovered "Three Gun Terry" (_Black Mask_,

You should be very suspicious of "accepted" literary trivia. There was a time when it was thought there were no woman writers to speak of before Dorothy Parker. How wrong that "accepted" view turned out to be. Daly is considered the daddy of them all, but it's only a theory, and it depends in large part on your definition of hard-boiled (now don't let's start that again...).

Cheers Chris

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