RARA-AVIS: Woolrich

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 13 Dec 2003

In a message dated 12/12/03 9:50:08 PM Eastern Standard Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

 Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 08:59:27 -0800 (PST)
 From: Mario Taboada < matrxtech@yahoo.com>
 Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Trying Something By Woolrich
 Woolrich is more than a writer who had his day way back
 when. He is one of the best suspense writers of all time.
 Miker, he will have you biting your nails, thus providing
 you with a personal grooming bonus with your purchase.
 I have my preferences, but they don't matter when I pick up
 a Woolrich story or novel. I get my nails done no matter
 which title I pick.

I agree with Woolrich being one of the best of all time but he did turn out some IMHO pretty bad novels. At his worst, he can be pretty bad. When I went through my late Uncle Buren's books (he who thought Edgar Wallace was the best who ever put pen to paper), I was excited to discover a copy of STRANGLER'S SERENADE (1951) the last (I think) novel under the William Irish byline. It was so bad I had trouble finishing it. While I won't say this rule is foolproof, it is not a good sign if a novel has been passed over by all the various Woolrich revivals.

One other Woolrich note, I last quoted William DeAndrea's ENCYCLOPEDIA MYSTERIOSA with the nifty "we think" adding a bit of a question mark to one of the most quoted of Woolrich biographical details. I just read a couple of lines further and DeAndrea elaborates: "He fabricated incidents, falsified dates and details, and obfuscated everything else. Even after a long and masterful biography by Francis M. Nevins, Jr., CORNELL WOOLRICH: FIRST YOU DREAM, THEN YOU DIE (1988), basic facts of the man's life are still debated."

One other Woolrich thought, there are people with opinions I respect who do not see the magic in Woolrich.

Richard Moore

# Plain ASCII text only, please.  Anything else won't show up.
# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Dec 2003 EST