Re: RARA-AVIS: Theme of the month - Los Angeles

Date: 07 Sep 2001

In a message dated 07/09/01 03:07:10 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

<< I realize there are those who don't agree, but I see Holmes as being
 hardboiled. Holmes is what a Victorian England hardboiled would be ...
 to each character their culture, their time, and their place ... he's
 way to violent and in the wrong setting to be cozy. And while there may
 be an argument for soft-boiled due to his lack of sexual conquest, I'd
 be willing to give 'im that once considering the culture and person he
 was representing. There was plenty of illicit sex in Victorian England,
 but Holmes represents the ideal not the reality.
I must concur, largely cos Holmes was where all my crime reading started and going on to the largely hardboiled stuff I read now seemed like a very natural progression, (it also helps that I am an ex-employee of the City of Westminster Archives Centre, which has a lot of stuff on the darker side of Victorian London, I think the comparison with 20C LA is valid.) While I could go on for hours about this, I won't, if anyone wishes to discuss at further length please mail or direct me to a new strand or whatever. I would be interested to hear to what extent Chandler Hammet et al, read or confessed a debt to Doyle. I do think that their is an argument to be made that the stylistic "hard boiling down" (cringe) of the Homes stories to the essentials and the relatively sparse (for the time) prose style make Holmes to a certain extent proto-hardboiled. By the way anyone interested in dark London should try Peter Ackroyd's Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, which is a superb Jack the Ripper, Karl Marx, music hall concoction which is not at all to be sniffed at. Colin, the boy with the thorn in his eye

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