RARA-AVIS: Themes of the months

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 18 Aug 2002

I liked the idea of a month about procedurals (are they? aren't they? which are? what's the relationship to the HB school), and since it's been a topic of debate lately I hope the interest will continue. Sorry for not sending out mail about next month earlier.

Then let's do the historical survey, by decade. Everyone will have lots of time to prepare for the first month and track down whatever early stuff they want to read. We could pick our top ten per decade, perhaps. That'll take us right up to summer of next year!


Aug 2002: Hardboiled PBOs: Fawcett Gold Medals Sep 2002: Procedurals and their relation to the hardboiled

Then an eight-month look at the history of hardboiled and noir writing. Pick a book from the given decade, read it, and send out your comments. We'll see how the writing changed over time.

Oct 2002: pre-1930 (make your case for proto-hardboiled writers) Nov 2002: 1930-1939 Dec 2002: 1940-1949 Jan 2003: 1950-1959 Feb 2003: 1960-1969 Mar 2003: 1970-1979 Apr 2003: 1980-1989 May 2002: 1990-present (and: whither hardboiled/noir writing?)


Having a theme for a month, where people can read any book by a particular author or in a certain series or on a certain topic, is easier all around than the old book-of- the-month readings we'd do. It brings up a lot more discussion on the list and it doesn't tie everyone to a certain book that may be hard for them to find. I encourage everyone to read something related to the theme of the month and mention it on the list. All the regular RARA-AVIS talk goes on as well, of course.

Suggestions for future themes include: the continuing question of hardboiled women writers, Barry Gifford, W.R. Burnett, Nick Tosches, politics, gangster-related books, and moral ambiquity.

This message is automatically sent out twice a month.

William Denton List-Owner

William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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