RE: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled Character Traits

From: George Upper (
Date: 02 May 2002

--- JIM DOHERTY <> wrote:
> Hard-boiled wasn't an evolution from Holmes, Poirot,
> Lord Peter, etc. to Spade, the Op, Marlowe, etc. It
> was a reaction to (and to some degree AGAINST)
> Holmes
> and the rest of the traditionalists. To say that
> Holmes was "hard-boiled for his era" is simply to
> misread the entire history of crime fiction.

I agree with Jim here. Most academics, for whatever it's worth, argue that h-b evolved more from frontier fiction (JF Cooper and westerns) than from Holmes or Nick Carter (although Holmes and Nick Carter certainly aren't irrelevant figures in the discussion). With the closing of the American frontier, new areas were needed for adventure, and the lawless Prohibition-era American cities seemed perfect.


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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