Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir

From: Sidney Allinson (
Date: 13 Feb 2003

> If you need proof, read the mystery reviews Hammett
> wrote for publications like SATRUDAY REVIEW. He
> continually drew distinctions between traditional
> writers and hard-boiled writers, and was often
> contemptuous of the traditional form, the form that
> has lately come to be referred to as the "cozy." He
> was particularly virulent in his criticism of the most
> successful "traditional" mystery writer of the day,
> S.S. Van Dine.
  Thanks, Jim. Yes, I've read a few of the pieces you mention. But I rather think they were written after by authors who had graduated from the ranks of freelance writers who started by cranking out hardboiled tales for Black Mask and similar pulp magazines of the era. After practice borne of a few million words written against deadlines to put bread on the table, a certain style could eveolve, enabling some of the best to evolve as writers of novels with a more serious intent. Still, some of the raffish old days of crank-em-out-for-next-Friday's
-deadline did hang on. :-) Witness, say, Chandler's occasional lapses, like the way he changes the name of his lead character halfway through "The Blue Dahlia." Not many people seemed to either notice or mind particularly, as it's a damn good story, anyway.
-- Sidney.


# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

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