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

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 07 Jan 2004

In a message dated 1/7/2004 4:00:04 AM Eastern Standard Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

> <<As a matter of fact, was he considered such before
> Macdonald was annointed? Wasn't it in retrospect?>>
> I don't think so. In fact, I remember reading that Faulkner
> considered and treated Chandler as an equal. Macdonald was
> anointed by Leonard, but before that, critics saw him as a
> less exciting Chandler with more psychological depth, which
> is about right, I think.

Some date the official "annointing" of Ross Macdonald with Eudora Welty's Sunday New York Times review of IIRC THE UNDERGROUND MAN which, unheard of for a mystery, was given the front of the book section. But certainly John Leonard was driving that message as well. Westlake in speeches and articles has made this out to be a near-conspiracy of the high brow influencials, working together to designate Macdonald and lift him onto the best seller list. The Welty review was the crowning achievement of that effort.

On another subject, the Vincent Price version of I AM LEGEND has some good moments, although it is far from being a great film. On Matheson, I knew he was close to Gault and had dedicated BORN OF MAN AND WOMAN to him. And Gault once told me that he used to give rides to Matheson to and from an SF group they were both members of--along with Henry Kuttner, now that I recall the conversation. I recently learned that Matheson actually lived in Gault's home his first few months in California. I don't know if he soaked up some Hard-boiled pointers while there but it couldn't have hurt.

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 : 07 Jan 2004 EST