RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir: Allison after Powell

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 13 Feb 2003

Even though my previous contribution to this discussion seems to have been lost to time or the delete key, I will suggest that I'd bet the majority, at least, of writers for BLACK MASK and later DIME DETECTIVE, etc, were acutely aware of what their colleagues were doing. Whether or not they thought of themselves as world-changers, I'm not sure, but I suspect they had some sense of what they were doing to crime fiction as it then existed. TM

-----Original Message----- From: Sidney Allinson [mailto:]

Graham Powell:
>The group of hardboiled writers that formed around
> Black Mask in the '20s (including Hammett, Daly, Paul Cain, as well as
> editor Joseph Shaw) clearly felt that they were part of a movement, that
> they were doing something new and different.

More likely, they just felt they were part of a group of writers whose manuscripts were being accepted regularly. Without exception, Black Mask writers were simply journeymen freelancers, working for a couple of cents a word; unpretentions down-to-earth scribes with an understanding of their market. I'd guess they'd be honestly puzzled by being categorized as artistes in any particular literary movement.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Feb 2003 EST