Re: RARA-AVIS: academic questions

From: Kerry Schooley (
Date: 06 Aug 2003

At 10:02 PM 05/08/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>But here's
>something that is not "crap" about the classic crime novels of the 30s:
>Male protagonists prefer a world where women do not influence their
>moral choices or restrain their subversive sense of justice.

A certain amount of that is circumstantial, don't you think? Most of the books of the 30's were written by and about men who were searching for and developing their own codes of behaviour, having found societal codes inadequate in the face of 20th Century war and violence. They resisted any external influence on their sacred codes, not just that of women.

Having said that, the femme fatale is a fixture of the genre and in literature in general. She is a specific threat to male power not through direct confrontation but through seduction and manipulation. That may have more to do with method than gender, though certainly they are linked. I may stand corrected, but I don't think there were a lot of gay protagonists in the genre between the wars either. So we don't have a pop culture basis for comparison.

Of course, the genre has broadened considerably since then.

Best Kerry

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