--- Mark Sullivan <
> I'm curious, what were those precedents and how much
> was built on them
> and how much was original?
Well, some of these have already been discussed, or at least
mentioned. As far as non-fiction precedents go, I think the
HB PI is a by-product of prohibition, gangsterism, corruption
(particularly police and government corruption), and post-war
disillusionment. To say that this list is an
oversimplification is, I hope, unnecessary--in fact, such a
statement would be an oversimplification in its own
As to literary precendents, I think it's a long list.
Certainly the western, particularly the action western. (Many
early HB writers wrote in this genre, as well). The classic
or armchair detective story, as well as the sort of grown-up
boy detective Nick Carter stories certainly contributed.
There was also a fair amount of what I call "tough fiction"
published just after WWI--I think of it as marketed to the
returning jaded soldiers, but that's purely speculation on my
part. These include a lot of boxing stories (there was at
least one pulp dedicated only to boxing stories, if you can
believe that) and other "manly" interests.
Daly himself wrote several stories which predate the Terry
Mack story but include several of the same essential
elements--resolving issues by gunpoint being a major one, as
is a sort of quasi-antagonistic, almost adolescent portrayal
of women--can't live with
'em, can't live without 'em, sort of. One of my major interests is the process by which Daly created the first HB PI character--I see much of his earlier stuff as almost protypical.
===== George C. Upper III UNC-Greensboro
(336) 393-0013 The city don't know that the city is getting... a show with everything but Yul Brynner
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