Re: RARA-AVIS: Swimming, Angie and proofing

Date: 21 Apr 2002

In a message dated 4/20/02 4:18:53 PM, writes:

<< Isn't this just the personal version of the PI who works in a corrupt world, kept down and abused by the system, trying to make the best of it? >>

IMO it's not. The PI isn't trying to "make the best of it," his/her impossible task is to hate it, do battle with it, and try his/her best to defeat it.

    --And why in the world is self-victimization -- say Scudder's blackouts -- more hardboiled than being victimized by another?--

    Because the former rises from a battle with personal demons, a hard boiled theme as old as the genre, while the latter violates even Sam Spade's oft repeated motto, "I won't play the sap for you."

    --And how does Hoke Moseley's being beaten into the hospital and having his gun, badge and teeth stolen fit into this?--

    It fits just fine. Getting sucker punched or duped (or even duping oneself) is not the same thing as living your life as a punching bag.

    I like Lehane's books and enjoy reading about Angie. My contention is not that she fails to be interesting or sympathetic or admirable as a character. I'm just saying I don't believe she's hard-boiled.

                                    Jim Blue

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