Re: RARA-AVIS: 13 mystery genres

From: George Upper (
Date: 07 Feb 2002

--- Michael Robison <> wrote:
> turns out there are 13 different types of mystery.
> i'm sorry to say that
> hardboiled is not one of them.

I know Miker was being sarcastic when he sent this in, but this article does point to the basic silliness of genre classifications. The author includes "private eye" as a genre and seems to mean "hard-boiled" by that title, but includes Matt Scudder as one of the examples of the form. Matt Scudder, as we all know, is a licensed PI in only one or two books of the series. If you're going to try to draw genre lines, you have to draw them, darn it, or don't bother.

I vote for don't bother.

Incidentally, the article also mentions noir as one of the thirteen. As we have often discussed on this list, it's hard to know the difference between that and hard-boiled. Actually, let me rephrase that: I think it's relatively to know the difference, but exceedingly difficult to put it into words.


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

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