Re: RARA-AVIS: I can't resist

From: George Upper (
Date: 14 Nov 2001

--- wrote:
> I've been sitting on the sidelines of the sidekick
> talk, but I can't resist
> mentioning the fact that Parker has a PhD in
> English. Considering when
> he recieved the degree, I'd be willing to bet he
> read Leslie Fiedler's
> some idea of what
> it was about. We can carry the light/dark
> hero/sidekick idea right back
> to Natty Bumppo if we want to, and while Parker
> would probably shudder
> if we said that the real love story in his books was
> the one between Hawk
> and Spenser, how far off would we be?

Bill, I think you're on target here. I can speak to two points:

first, Parker has stated on numerous occasions that the roots of the PI novel lie in Cooper. One such occasion was the intro to the year's best mystery stories in 1999 or whenever he was guest editor.

Second, Spenser has a brief conversation with Hawk in one of the novels--please don't ask which one, I can't remember and I don't want to look it up--about, you guessed it, Fiedler. Spenser: "I just read this book by a guy who thinks that guys like us are suppressing homoerotic impulses." Hawk: "And doing a good job of it, too." (Please understand that these are not intended to be direct quotes.) I've always found that particular exchange pretty funny, as well as packed full of subtext.


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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