Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled politics

Date: 18 Jul 2003

In a message dated 7/18/2003 8:41:24 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> The dominant political theme in hardboiled literature is
> that fascism
> defeats
> anarchy.

Miker, I can see this in some cases, notably Spillane perhaps, not sure aboutHammett or Chandler per se (I wouldn't call it always fascism, but maybe that the pendulum swings towards control when things get too wild and vice versa) but not in all hard boiled cases. Examples would be Marlowe never selling out, but always being cynical and sometimes depressed even though he keeps fighting according to his moral code. Hard to think of him as an agent of either anarchy or fascism. The Continental Op seems to enjoy violence and anarchy to a point, but in the end is loyal to his organization. I wouldn't call his org or the powers he fights fascist though. Corrupt and power hungry yes, if that's what you mean.
 In some HB literature the opposite seems to be the case, chaos, anarchy and a purposeless universe combine to defeat any attempts to impose order (by the detective or anyone else). Or is that more in the noir genre?

Steven H.

PS in trying to reply I accidentally hit aol's stupid "report spam" button, I sent aol a message advising them of the mistake, let me know off list if any problems come of this. I don't particularly think anything will, but I wanted to apologize for the error.

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