Re: RARA-AVIS: Voting Procedures

Date: 26 Mar 2002

I'll join in the consensus for non-weighted voting of twenty candidates. I'd like to suggest, however, that we each reserve at least ten of those positions for characters whom we objectively believe (to the degree that we can be objective) to be important in the history of hard-boiled crime fiction. This leaves each of us with ten to vote our own personal preferences.

By "important" I mean a character's who's been a trend-setter, who has been persistently popular over a long period of time, who is generally critically acclaimed, or some combination. We can recognize a character who fits tthese parameters without actually liking that character (i.e. many people despise Mike Hammer, but it would be fatuous to deny his importance to the genre), but a fair vote would recognize that character's importance even if the character wasn't universally liked.

Tis is a suggestion that I pass on to you as individuals, not a mandate (as if I could), but if we don't keep in mind a semi-objective standard of
"importance," the final list will be less a roster of the most important characters than it is the most popular. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not what we started out to do.


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