RARA-AVIS: ambiguity and social unrest

From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 29 Apr 2002

mrT says:
>It occurs to me that crime literature may have moved beyond
>the hardboiled vs. cozy (or dark vs. light, etc.)
>dichotomy, which was never all that clear-cut to start


has our use of hardboiled in a literary sense changed over the years? didn't it previously refer to a book's description, and not a particular character? wasn't hardboiled associated with books with features found in hammett and chandler? like a femme fatale? or a knight in tarnished armor? an unsentimental view to- wards death, perhaps? a mystery? sharp, clean prose? an eye towards the darker side of human nature? and not necessarily all these features, either, but enough to earn the hardboiled tag.

maybe thats why its hard to determine if a character is hardboiled... because actually its a writing style instead of a personal attribute. so if we would simply quit labelling characters as hardboiled, and instead judge whether a book is hardboiled or not, i think maybe all the ambiguity, disagreement, and social unrest would disappear.

and if you believe this, i have a great real estate deal for you... right south of key west. ;-)



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