Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Blue Collars

Date: 10 Sep 2001

In a message dated 9/9/01 12:45:49 PM, writes:

<< I think much (note that I am not saying *all*, so please don't jump on me with exceptions) detective fiction involves class-crossing, so to speak. The PI invited up to the millionaire's mansion a la Marlowe and Sternwood has been repeated by most writers in the genre, hack or not, to some degree (one of the good early Parker's in my opinion, is THE JUDAS GOAT, in which Spenser does just this). >>

    I think George and others on this list who've taken the same position are right about class crossing, though I believe the hard-boiled PI is a poor candidate for "grail knight" since he never really signs on to anyone's agenda but his own. From Hammett on down we have countless rich and powerful clients who hire the PI and live to rue the day they did so.
    The hard-boiled protagonist is classless in that he or she belong to no one and no group. Many, but certainly not all, share a determination to help or protect some "little guy," and to bring down someone who uses wealth and power corruptly, but the battle has little or nothing to do with class.

                                        Jim Blue

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