Re: RARA-AVIS: the other Vin and the Big Book of Noir

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 15 Aug 2002

The Big Book of Noir is a treasure of information. And the opinions have weight because the authors, including several Raravian gurus, know the subject *and* love it. I especially liked Bill's piece on Whittington, an author whose work is certainly good enough to remember, yet he's forgotten and out of print.

On the topic of loving the topic*, nothing infuriates me more than people writing reviews and criticism of a genre they have little respect for. You can fill in the names.

Anecdotally, I've noticed a similar phenomenon in music reviewers. The other day I was reading an article in which the author called a certain song "a twelve-bar blues". Well, the most casual listening shows that it's not. He also called the singer a blues shouter, which he's not. He also referred to that song as this singer's song, but this singer was not Big Bill Broonzy. And he said that the singer represents the Mississipi Delta tradition, but the singer was from Texas and came from a totally different tradition. And so on. With the revival, reviewers they are doing the same to bluegrass.

[*I claim a first, etc.]

Regards, and sorry to ramble.


"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." Mark Twain

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