Re: RARA-AVIS: Future of the Genre

Date: 31 Aug 2002


Re your comment below:

> Its not in front of me, but I think the original
> quote didn't actually say
> that
> the P.I. would become extinct, but that the romantic
> view we have of what
> he does is false.

That view always was false. It's not any nmore false now, and it wasn't any less false then. It never was all that common (at least in the 20th Century) for PIs to investigate murders or get into shootouts. However, the continued popularity of characters like Spenser and Amos Walker would seem to be strong evidence of the durabilty of the "lone wolf PI" as a fictional construct.

At the same time, let's remember that the "big agency operative" isn't a recent invention in PI fiction. Characters like the Continental Op, Donahue, Jack Cardigan, etc., were all employed by big agencies back in the very beginning of hard-boiled crime fiction.


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