Re: RARA-AVIS: Swimming, Angie and proofing

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 20 Apr 2002


> The thing to remember is that the list was of the best
> characters from hard-boiled crime fiction, not
> necessarily the best characters who were themselves
> hard-boiled. I don't think Casper Gutman, for
> example, could be described as a hard-boiled, but the
> novel he appears in, THE MALTESE FALCON, is certainly
> a hard-boiled novel, and Gutman is certainly a
> marvelous character, so it was appropriate for him to
> be have been nominated, and (if he won a place, which,
> off-hand, I can't remember) to have been placed on the
> final list.
Jim this is the second time you wrote you didn't think Gutman was hard boiled. (BTW, he was tied for 71st with 5 votes. Your Catechism-trained memory failed you this time.) As you indicate the list was not called 'hard boiled characters', but why do you think Gutman was not hard boiled? Does somebody actually have to kill to be responsible for it? He certainly is willing to give up Wilmer who he says was like a son to him. Do you disqualify him because of his way of speaking or his supposed upbringing? According to you be hard boiled a person has to be colloquail. According to my dictionary that is, " characteristic of or suitable to ordinary or familiar conversation or writing rather than formal speech or writing." Does that mean someone who is educated and British cannot be hard boiled? As Jim Blue , I think, wrote, your definition means Dorothy Gale is hard boiled. I don't want to get into this debate again, but I think your definition is hardly definitive. Mark

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