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

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 10 Apr 2004

<<This is true. It's also true, though, that the moral aspect to hardboiled fiction is predominant,>>

This may be true of the (essentially post-pulp) PI industry that extends to the present era, but it is not true of the pulps. The article cited dealt with so-called "pulp fiction".

I think we should be careful about generalizing from Chandler and his knight. Marlowe is not a typical pulp protagonist. He is an educated man, he sees himself and what he does ironically and his boss gave him a voice that is both a paragon and a parody. I have reservations about painting Marlowe as the quintessential pulp protagonist. As Jim has pointed out, those pulps are full of gleeful crooks and gleefully brutish anticrooks who are in essence no different (just working on the other side). This is, at least for me, is a large part of the attraction that the pulps still exert (the other part is the impudent and original use of language).



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