Re: RARA-AVIS: Book review in Journal of Social History

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 09 Apr 2004

Bill, thanks for the link. The writer seems to have no ear for pulp fiction. His comments about Jakubowski's big book show that, where we see a huge variety, he only sees an undifferentiated mass. It reminds me of what some classical music critics (fortunately, many years ago) have written about jazz.

His theory on why readers read pulp stories seems dubious. Why not assume that a colorful mystery with colorful characters generally draws the reader in, period? Everyone wants to be an adventurer and a detective. It's fun to read about someone else being those things. I suspect that this type of story is read for much the same reasons pulp stories were read eighty years ago.

By applying heavy "theoretical" machinery (mainly verbiage; there is no literary theory worthy of being called a theory), you could end up making adventure and mystery stories into something they cannot be.



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