Re: RARA-AVIS: Could the real Men in Black stand up?

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 16 Sep 2003

Mark, thanks for your comments. You'll be surprised to hear that I do appreciate primitive rock'n'roll, though rock (in all its forms) is for me a distant second to jazz, the blues and classical music (Western and Indian). In all these forms, being a "pretty good" musician doesn't even get you in the door, and perhaps I'm wrong in applying the criterion of "at least a very good musician" to a different phenomenon like rock and pop. If I play The Beatles after, say, Ravi Shankar or Ali Akbar Khan, or Coleman Hawkins, the effect is one of ridiculousness. I'm either spoiled or spoilt, or just out of it.

I don't feel any 'slumming down" when I read Goodis, Thompson, Prather or Lionel White (technically very strong,
 I don't know what Westlake is talking about...). I consider them serious and highly skilled writers. I'm sure that, if England had had a Prather, the English would be proud of him. The US has been hard on humorists.

Just the other day we were talking about Theodore Sturgeon and, coincidentally, I bought and read his novel _The Dreaming Jewels_ (1950, reprinted by Carroll & Graf). This is a superb work. I started thinking of how many novels published in 1950 I would like to read today. I bet almost all of them would be "genre" novels.

So I don't make any distinction between mainstream and genre fiction. In fact, I reject such distinctions. That is one of the main reasons why I joined Bill's list in the old days of 1997 (can it be that long ago?).

Enough rambling and back to a collection of Sturgeon stories.



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