RARA-AVIS: Parker's "contribution"

From: Bludis Jack ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 Dec 2003

Miles Archer observed--

<<<(Jack Bludis said)
<<< <Parker's contribution, I think, is the domestic other life and the violent sidekick.>
<<<I'm not sure 'contribution' is the word I'd use. Hmmm... 'adulteration'? 'Pollution'? It'll come to me...
<<<Suffice to say, I don't think much of either device, let alone their constant repetition from book to book.>>>

I'm not a big Parker Fan, but I do recognize these things as contributions. But I stopped believing in Parker about ten years ago.

I guess what I was saying was he saw that the PI could go in a different way from the alcholic PI, loner with the heart of a prince.

I think we're talking grapes and pears and pineapples when we compare noir, hardboiled and PI, except that all three can be combined in various ways to make decent book.

My one word definintions again: noir/screwed, hardboilde/tough, and PI/relentless. As much as I hate to say it, Stephanie Plum even qualifies under the "relentless" definition.

I do agree thought that many writers write the same book over and over again. Chandler did, Ross MacDonald did, John D. did, so did Mickey Spillane and Parker.

Hammett didn't and Elmore Leonard sure doesn't although he loves to bring back his favorite characters. (Hammett did write the same short story over and over again.)

Hemingway wrote the same romance over and over, but without the happy ending. Even "The old man and the sea" is a love story on several levels. Faulkner wrote the same southern gothic. And Fitzgereld did the same slice of life over and over.

It's not easy to be original every time out.

Maybe when they said, "we all have a book in us," they mean, "we all have (only) one book in us."

Jack Bludis

===== UPDATED 11/18/03 http://JackBludis.com

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