Re: RARA-AVIS: the jack bludis heresy

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 28 Apr 2002

> i'm leaning this way on the hardboiled, jack. i've got a couple
> with the "colloquial" thing. although most people's attitude is
> thru talk, there are some who decidedly don't fit the bill. i have a
> time seeing people like dudley smith (as mario pointed out), arkady
> or even doc mccoy, as being colloquial, but i see all of them as being
> they are a minority group of people who adhere to teddy roosevelt's,
> "speak softly but carry a big stick" philosophy.

Pardon me but it seems to me that in this hardboiled/colloquial thread we seem to be blurring the works and the characters. I have absolutely no problem with "tough & colloquial" as a description of hardboiled fiction. When it comes to describing characters as hardboiled, there I think the field is completely open to debate to the point of where the debate could go on forever in circular formations. And surely I'm not the only one who thinks of loyalty & being "standup" as moral values? It seems to me that some people are defining hardboiled in terms of a personal moral code and that surely is something that will not be agreed on by everyone- meaning I'm sure everyone has their own moral code. To me, hardboiled as used in the context of a literary genre is purely a literary term, not a state of moral superiority achieved by modern day samurai and I personally have no interest in the debate of who is or isn't hardboiled and to what degree they are hardboiled. Is hardboiled fiction just about hardboiled people? I don't think so, at least not exclusively.Also, one of the things that attracts me to HB fiction is the moral ambiguity, the sense that the world is not just good guys & bad guys but people with varying amounts of "good"/"evil" traits responding to a world that is neither moral nor immoral but heedless of the individuals within it - otherwise I'd stick to old Doc Savage stories or their equivalent. Just my 2c worth.


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