Re: RARA-AVIS: Friends of Eddie Coyle/dialogue

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 18 Jul 2002

<<Leonard and Pelecanos and J.G. Dunne and many of the other best among today's writer's owe more to George V. than to anyone else who came before them. George lives.>>

Just like Higgins owes, owed, to Hammett, Paul Cain, Hemingway and Dos Passos. Just like, say, Constantine owes to the great social writers of the thirties and later, like Lewis, Steinbeck, Agee, O'Hara. Nothing is really new as a concept. What is new is the story, the details, the particular voice, the quirks.

When you convert a style into another operating system, it's no longer the same style, as shown in the work of so many Chandler imitators (good and bad), and in the work of the best Ross Macdonald disciple, Stephen Greenleaf. One could stress the Macdonald connection with Stephen's work, but that's really minor. Macdonald wouldn't have told the same stories, probably wouldn't have shared Tanner's ethos, and wouldn't have gotten his guy so personally involved in the stories.

I propose that we consider the tradition as a commons, just like jazz standards are a commons. I was thinking of this as I listened to Ellington & Coltrane's sublime rendition of "My Little Brown Book". You take from the commons and you give back a chewed and considered little, to enlarge it.



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