Re: RARA-AVIS: hard boiled creation & Ross Macdonald

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 11 Jun 2001

> He is also wrong in putting Ross Macdonald (who represents
> a shift towards the psychological) in with the hardboiled
> school.

You may think he is wrong to do this, but Ross Macdonald *was* part of the hard-boiled school. His early work echoed Chandler's Marlowe books, but then he found this new voice. True, it was more psychological than external, but that happened to the gothic, too, which grew from its formula into a more complex label when Frankenstein came along. Just because it was a shift doesn't make it less hard-boiled. He just took the loner PI idea in a different direction.

I've always seen Macdonald listed with the hard-boiled writers, so your comment puzzled me. But of course the idea that Chandler created the genre, well, that was just wrong and lazy. I mean, five minutes on the internet could tell anyone that Hammett is the better answer (despite the grumbling of "Daly, et al").

Neil Smith

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