RARA-AVIS: Rampaging homophobia

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 17 Nov 2001

Ooops, almost forgot. Carrie wrote:

>Considering Marlowe's rampant homophobia....

Yeah, we've all heard the theories about Marlowe, but rampant? I think that tag's pushing it a little.

Okay, Marlowe doesn't like gays, particularly those he saw as less than "manly," but who did, in the pulp fiction of the time? Look at how Hammett sneered at and tormented Wilmer and Cairo in THE MALTESE FALCON, for example.

But "rampant," to me anyway, suggests an obsession teetering out of control. I don't see Marlowe letting any prejudice or fear drive him that far. Like the endless charges of him being racist, you have to look at them in the context of the times.


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