Re: RARA-AVIS: Vachss: no leftist: Robison

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 05 May 2003

> Well, Mike, this Leftist don' like the vigilantism, the convenient
> superiority, nor the broad caricatures that are most of the characters
> (though that may be the lit snob in me). That and the general
goofiness, yet
> deadly earnestness. Bad mix. I've been meaning to get to his
> work and his Lansdale collaboration. TM
I think we have similar views about Vachss' work (as do, apparently, several others here) so let me reiterate the suggestion made by someone
(Mark?) earlier in this thread - Shella. I'm not a fan of the Burke books, the combination of serious issues such as child sexual abuse and the comic book / pulp fiction approach don't work but Shella (and some of his shorts I've read) is something else. IMO one of the best noir novels of (comparatively) recent times. On the topic of left/right political orientation I don't see Vachss as a lefty. His vigilantism would not sit well with most leftys, I would think. I can't speak for the US but in my corner of the world respecting people of different cultures and moral indignation about child abuse would be considered mainstream thinking these days. (It wasn't always the case of course. This country went through profound social change beginning in the 70's.) Paradoxically, at a time when the traditional left has all but shrivelled away, the social norm ("politically correct" as it's often referred to) has moved to a place that was considered left-wing when I was a kid. I copped a lot of flak as a school kid for espousing ideas such as equal pay for women, civil rights for gays and opposing the Vietnam War. These ideas are all pretty much the norm here now but when I was a kid it got me branded as a troublemaker at school - the concept of political correctness is nothing new - the only thing that is changed is the notions of what is correct.


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