Re: RARA-AVIS: Swimming, Angie and proofing

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 21 Apr 2002

Jim Blue wrote:

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

Jim, leaving aside the question of whether or not Gennaro is hardboiled
(I accept that by your definition she's not), do you really think accepting, even excusing physical abuse does not also rise from personal demons? And while the struggle with it may be internal until the moment comes to face the oppressor, is it really that different from the struggle to face alcoholism? Scudder does not have a single incident that led him to be a drunk. Shooting the kid may have led to his final plunge into the bottle, but he was already on the diving board. He was drunk when he shot the kid. So I fail to see how Scudder was not playing the sap to the bottle throughout the books before Eight Million Ways to Die.


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