Re the question you pose:
> a question I haven't yet answered for myself
> whether lacking
> sentimentality, or acting in spite of one's
> sentimentality is a factor.
> here, I'm leaning toward the latter.
Like just about everything else except toughness and
collquialism, it doesn't have anything to do with whether or
not a character is hard-boiled. A hard-boiled character can
be totally unsentimental, like Stark's Parker, or very
sentimental under the hard exterior, like most of Thomas
Walsh's Irish cops.
A non-hard-boiled character can be totally unsentimental, like Sax Rohmer's Dr. Fu Manchu, or very sentimental, like Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson. Their sentimentality or lack of it isn't the deciding factor. Their attitude, as illustrated by the combination of toughness and colloquialism, is.
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