Re: RARA-AVIS: Still some thoughts on characters

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 30 Oct 2001

On Tue, 30 Oct 2001, Mario Taboada wrote:

> Carrie:
> <<I've liked Ed McBain's, Ben Benson's and Collin Wilcox's
> police procedurals, even though there are no deep
> characterizations.>>

This was not Carrie, it was me.

> I have not read Benson, but I know the work of McBain and
> Wilcox very well. Why do you say their characterizations
> aren't "deep"? True, neither of them has created as
> powerful a character as, say, Mario Balzic or Easy Rawlins,
> but that doesn't mean that their characters are cartoons or
> dummies.

Powerful and deep aren't synonyms in my vocabulary. Hammett's characters are powerful, but they are not deep. Deep has some pejorative meanings in my messages.

> I am beginning to suspect a forked path here: some readers
> consider that the character is real if it speaks *to them*,
> whereas others prefer characters that speak *to the story*.
> Because I am distant by nature, I prefer the second kind.

So do I.

But enough of this from me. Must get back to work.


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