RARA-AVIS: Re: Hardboiled politics

From: Juri Nummelin ( juri.nummelin@postikaista.net)
Date: 20 Jul 2003

Jim D.:

> I happen to write police procedurals, Juri, and while
> they may not be classic examples of the form, they are
> fairly TYPICAL examples of the form, and one they are
> empatically, absolutely, indubitably, without
> exception NOT is leftist.

I seem to have touched a nerve here, but that wasn't my intention. Being a leftist is not a pejorative term for me and I wasn't saying that the writers themselves are necessarily leftists. I was merely saying that some forms of a police procedural novel are in many ways opposed to heroic individualism of the hardboiled genre and I find that extremely interesting. As for the word community, maybe I should've used the word "society". I didn't mean to imply that being able to work together with other people means you're a leftist.

> The fact of the matter is you're a lot more likely to
> find novels about "lone wolf" private eyes with
> leftist agendas than cop novels with such an agenda.
> Roger Simon, Sara Paretsky, Michael Collins, and
> Gordon DeMarco are just a few examples.

That's also true.

> As to your assertion that police act as a unit, rather
> than as an individual, that certainly true, but the
> members of those units are not, either in real life or
> in fiction, mindless cogs in a soulless machine of law
> enforcement.

Where I live, being a part of the society doesn't mean being a "mindless cog in a soulless machine of law enforcement". It also doesn't mean that they are not individuals, with opinions, preferences and what else. That's certainly not what I meant.


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