RE: RARA-AVIS: Marijane Meaker and Patricia Highsmith (and SMILLA 'S Senselessness, sadly)

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 02 Sep 2003

<<Of course, this has been commercially institutionalized in bookselling, as with the newish Borders signs distinguishing "Popular Fiction" from "Literature," and other such amphigory.>>

Or as in Joyce Carol Oates's disparaging remarks about Chandler, whose "genre" work is ten times better than anything of hers --yes, she once had a promising career, but what has become of it? I am talking about the literary substance, something beyond the same old story of the woman who was abused in her childhood and goes on to be a mean disaster forever. Melodrama 101 done 1001 times.

Yes, folks, there are still people who think Chandler and Hammett do not deserve to be included in the Library of America.

By the way, I got similar disparaging, even irate responses in another forum when I suggested that if the Nobel committee is considering an American for the prize, they should look at Ray Bradbury and Elmore Leonard. The divide persists, sadly. But nothing prevents us from chipping away at it.

Best regards,


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