Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-VIS: Top 100 Hard-Boiled Characters

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 24 Mar 2002


> Mark,
> Re the following excerpt from the BOOKS magazine
> parameters:
> template, you should note one of the characters on
> that list, Gus MacRae, was created for a movie script.
> When the screenplay failed (at first) to be produced,
> Larry McMurtry novelized the script into LONESOME
> DOVE. Ultimately, the movie WAS produced, only it was
> for television and it became an expanded
> "mini-series," and it didn't reach the airwaves until
> the book had been published, hit the best-seller
> lists, won a Pulitzer, and been accalimed a classic
> (not bad for that bastard form, the "novelization").
> The only difference between Friday and MacRae in terms
> of their eligibility is that the dramatic script
> featuring MacRae, though written first, wasn't
> produced until after the prose form was published, and
> with Friday it was the reverse.

Jim, The only thing I could go on with that was the book was copyright in 1985 and the mini series debuted in 1989. We can't investigate the provenance of a work, only what actually happened.
> If HAMLET or MACBETH had been written in the 20th
> Century instead of the 15th, would you really say that
> neither of those characters was worthy of being put on
> a list of the most important characters in the era's
> literature because they appeared in stage plays
> instead of books?

It would depend upon how we defined what we were categorizing literature..

> And if you are willing to stretch a point for an
> essentially visual medium like comic strips, why not
> for film or television which, like any dramatic form,
> begins with the written word?

 The original list chose the Cat in the Hat to as # 39. . (I would have taken the Grinch if I had to choose between them.) A picture book like The Cat in the Hat is is basically a visual medium as is a comic strip. I asked Bill earlier for an opinion. If he thinks a character from a show that first was produced on radio in 1949 is eligible for this list, I'll go along. Mark

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