Re: RARA-AVIS: Swimming, Angie and proofing

Date: 20 Apr 2002

In a message dated 4/20/02 10:20:35 AM, writes:

<< Angie's commitment to an abusive marriage is part of what makes her real. That she survived it, didn't curl up and die spiritually, and went on being a good PI is what makes her hardboiled to me (here we go with definitions again). She's like Socrates, who lost decades in prison for murder, came out and tried his best to figure out what the hell came next. >>

    My problem with Angie as a hard-boiled character is that she comes to us as a victim. In the early books, she is taking the beatings, making excuses for her husband, seeing herself as a cause of her own abuse, etc. All of this very real and completely believable, but not hard-boiled. Her PI credentials are strong from the outset, but she is not.
    Socrates had done his murder and served his time when we meet him. No reader would ever mistake him for a victim. In fact, the genre is loaded with people who have a past or a present full of mistakes and who are loaded with guilt or remorse, but, for me, the whole notion of hard-boiled precludes the possibility of a character living the life of a vic while we are reading about his or her exploits. Hard-boiled with self loathing or self destructing, yeah, but not hard-boiled while accepting abuse at the hands of others.

                                    Jim Blue

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