RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled and delurk...

From: Charlie.Williams@pinkroccade.co.uk
Date: 26 Apr 2002


Long time lurker here kicked out of the shadows by the "what makes hardboiled?" debate. Probably not the best place for a delurker to start, and I'm a bit late, but...

I look at "hardboiled" as a past participle more than an adjective. If a character is hardboiled it is because of the way their life has gone up to then. Something (or some things) happened to them that removed their innocence and idealism etc and "hardboiled" them. Maybe it's not a specific event. Not every novel with a hardboiled character can go into backstory about how the hardboiling came about. Maybe life itself is what did it. I think the diction and the attitude and and way a guy walks are all just the effects of the hardboiling he got somewhere along the line.

While I'm at it, is it just a character who is hardboiled? Is it not the whole atmosphere of the novel that supports his or her hardboiledness? If everyone runs around singing and giving each other flowers it's going to be difficult for this hardboiled guy to look credible. There's gotta be a streak of hardboiledness through the world the novel depicts, I think. That at least offers up a reason for Mr Hardboiled to be the way he is.

I'm ranting on here, but I know I won't get flamed too badly. This is my first post after all. Right?

I salute you all,

Charlie Williams.

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