RARA-AVIS: Re: Roger Torrey/T.S. Stribling

From: moorich2@aol.com
Date: 04 Oct 2004

In a message dated 10/4/2004 12:03:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time, rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com writes:

> Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 10:01:41 -0400
> From: Douglas Greene < dgreene@odu.edu>
> Subject: Roger Torrey/T.S. Stribling
> Richard
> I too will have to skip the B'con this year. My back can't take the long
> plane ride to Toronto. I will miss seeing many friends.
> Rogert Torrey was a fine writer. Tom Roberts has published a booklet with
> 2 of his stories from PRIVATE DETECTIVE, 1939-1942: THE FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
> MURDER (Bloomington, IL: Black Dog Books, 2004). One of the stories
> features P.I. Sam Drake. Was he a series character?
> Richard, if you would like to gather and introduce a collection of Torrey
> stories, Crippen & landru would be delighted to publish it in its "Lost
> Classics" series (though it might have to wait a couple years, and we are
> committed into 2006!). As with most pulp material, the problem is who owns
> the rights. Does the family know?
> We have just released T.S. Stribling's DR. POGGIOLI: CRIMINOLOGIST, ed.
> Arthur Vidro, containing 8 previous uncollected stories from ADVENTUYRE,
> BLUE BOOK, RED BOOK, and (recently discovered) from THE BIG MAGAZINE -- Joe
> Wrozs located the latter and almost ruined hia xopy of the pulp in making a
> xerox. I'll be interested to know what people think of the stories -- they
> are filled with ethnic stereotypes, especially in dialogue, yet Stribling
> was known for his sympathy with Blacks in the American South. "Bullets,"
> especially, is a powerful story.
This is an exciting subject heading as it features two of my favorite pulp writers. You are right about the awfulness of the ethnic dialogue in some of Stribling's stories (including, I might add some of his mainstream stories in the Saturday Evening Post). However, in his mainstream fiction he openly dealt with the fact that many of the black and white characters were blood relations due to interracial affairs (& rapes). In his Pulitzer winning THE STORE, that was one of the great sub-texts as everyone in the community knew who were secretly half-brothers or half-sisters, even though this did not improve the lot of the blacks. Stribling was also a business partner with an African American in some New York City property. When the depression made it impossible for his partner to repay a loan, Stribling was forgiving and even advanced the man additional money.

As for Roger Torrey, I would be most interested in helping on a Torrey collection--and thanks for the tip on the Black Dog collection. I don't know, offhand, if Drake was a series character. He never appeared in Black Mask and it doesn't ring a bell with me from other sources. As for who owns the rights, I would presume that Torrey's estate passed to his widow Helen. I have emailed Don Torrey to see if he has a will or has traced her since 1946. The damn thing is that Don was just nine years old when Roger died and he didn't know of the connection until their father's funeral in the mid-1960s revealed the two earlier sets of children.

I will let you know what I learn and its good to have you back in circulation. It was with great reluctance that I accepted the reality that it was just too soon after my surgery to go to Bouchercon. I was at the first Toronto B'Con and it was a blast.

Richard Moore

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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