RARA-AVIS: "Persons of The, Ahem, Hansen/Brandstetter Nava/Rios Sort"

From: chrisaschneider@earthlink.net
Date: 06 Aug 2003

-------Original Message------- From: Mario Taboada < matrxtech@yahoo.com> Sent: 08/06/03 08:08 AM To: rara-avis@icomm.ca Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Assumptions, Anyone?
> Nava, I have never read. Is he good? Brandstetter doesn't have much to do with women, so I can't tell how seriously they take him. The classic PIs that Jay brought up preferred women, and that's what I addressed. Very many modern PIs are women written by women, which should correct the (fictional) balance somewhat.

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Actually, that "doesn't have much to do with women" was the point of my note. In attempting to avoid a hectoring tone, I wound up a bit like those characters in "Maurice" (both Forster novel and Merchant/Ivory movie) who hem and haw and refer uncomfortably to "disorders of the, ahem, Oscar Wilde Sort." "What about persons of the Hansen/Brandstetter, Nava/Rios sort?", I was more-or-less asking.

The "assumption" I was attempting to question was the assumption that the universe -- in this case, the Hard-Boiled-slash-Noir literary universe -- is entirely "heterosexual until proven otherwise." The tendency of meny hetero writers-of-commentary and/or opinion-slingers to assume such things is, depending on the moment's mood, either amusing (hence my rolled eyes) or irritating. I believe that Adrienne Rich's phrase for such blinkered critical vision is "forced heterosexuality."

It's just that when people start using the word "man" as, seemingly, a stand-in for "hetero and male like the only people that we care to talk about thank-you-very-much," I start getting restive ...

My knowledge of Nava is, I'm afraid, second-hand. Instinct told me (wrongly?) that his Henry Rios books are worthy-but-dull. The bit of Hansen that I *have* read seemed solid and yet less than exciting -- although I do remember enjoying "Fadeout."

That's the sort of writing that drives me back to the excesses of ever-problematic, ever-enjoyable Cornell Woolrich. Hoo-boy, that "Jane Brown's Body"!


P.S. Anyone have anything to say about the recommedability of, say, John Morgan Wilson or Richard Stevenson or Mark Richard Zubro or R.D. Zimmerman?

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