Re: RARA-AVIS: Big hardboiled epics

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 28 Sep 2004

--- wrote:

> Doug wrote:
> "I wouldn't include Derek Raymond or Jack O'Connell,
> both of whom I like
> immensely but are too "anti-realistic" to properly
> fit into an "epic"
> class."
> It's been a long time since my intro to lit classes
> (and I didn't pay
> that much attention when I was taking them), but why
> are
> "anti-realistic" and "epic" mutually exclusive?
> (I'm not being snarky,
> I'm actually interested in this idea.)

I'm thinking of "epic" in the sense of a big roiling long story that's "realistic" in a mainstream novel welcoming-to-the-reader kind of way. Ambitious big fat novels, the kind they used to make into mini-series, back when TV made mini-series. SHOGUN, CENTENNIAL, that kind of stuff. (I'm currently on an Irwin Shaw kick, and THE YOUNG LIONS would certainly fit.)

Both O'Connell and Raymond are too intellectualized, too formally skewed IMO for those kind of primal pleasures. Like I said, you might stretch a point and squeeze O'Connell in -- he bears a similar relationship to this sort of thing, though, that David Lynch bore to traditional TV cop dramas with TWIN PEAKS.

THE GODFATHER would definitely fit, though I don't really consider it hardboiled, just a big fat novel about crime. Still, you could say that about THE DETECTIVE, too.


===== Doug Bassett

__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Make a clean sweep of pop-up ads. Yahoo! Companion Toolbar. Now with Pop-Up Blocker. Get it for free!

RARA-AVIS home page:
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Sep 2004 EDT