Re: RARA-AVIS: The Case of the Overrated Mystery Novel

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 06 Jan 2004

Mark Sullivan wrote:
> "I can't prove this, but it seems to me that the Welty review started a
> trend: taking a detective writer and anointing him or her as not just a
> pulp writer (not just a Mickey Spillane) but a purveyor of literature (a
> Chandler)."
> When was it that Chandler began to be considered a "purveyor of
> literature," at what point in his career? As a matter of fact, was he
> considered such before Macdonald was annointed? Wasn't it in
> retrospect?

************************ I've seen quite a few discussions concerning what qualifies as literature and what doesn't, none of which, ironically, seem to have much to do with literature.

I'm about halfway through Sallis's DIFFICULT LIVES now. He wrestles with the place of pulp in literature a few times in the book. Near as I can tell, he uses the guerilla tactic of attacking the flank and then making a fast getaway.


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