RARA-AVIS: Hey, Hey, Woody Hauttie, I wrote you a song...

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 12 Nov 2004

Jeff wrote:

>My hat is off to you for stepping up to defend yourself, while taking

Hey, Woody, me too. It's tough trying to get facts straight, as anyone who's bothered to check out my error-ridden site knows. We all need editors, though some of us do our best to deny it. Me, I count on the kindness of strangers to tell me when I'm an idiot.

And boy, do I get my wish.

What is worrisome is that your publisher didn't let you correct those mistakes.

And Wild Bill wrote:

>When Jack Liffey goes out for a drive, he doesn't turn up the CD player to
>hear Dexter Gordon blowing a long, sweet solo while he drives along
>Cahuenga, the night air now crisp that it's lost the heat of the day, the
>lights of the city illuminating the night as he ponders his place in the
>universe, alone, ineffable. No, when he goes out, the plastic sheets
>covering his smashed windows flap, and he goes by a farm truck that's
>overturned and left a terrified cow trapped inside. Or an earthquake has
>ripped a street in half and everyone's stuck for an hour while a confused
>cop tries to sort things out. I've never been to LA and can't judge the
>book against reality, but man, this LA is a hell of a place.

Oh, yeah, that it is. Shannon's one of the few contemporary writers to scrape the muck of myth off, and really look at LA for what is is, not what it thinks it is. The children have taken over the kindergarten, and the results are just about what you'd expect -- wet pants, bullies, brats and a lot of teasing and crying. And nobody puts things back when they're finished.

In a city of children, Shannon comes across as one of the last adults.

>Second, in another field of interest, someone tells the story of how an
>old hardboiled writer used to have some fun by putting rude slang words
>into his stories and waiting to see what his editor took out and what got
>through. The best one was "gunsel," which meant catamite, but was
>understood by the editor to mean hoodlum. And which is fact it has come
>to mean. In the book, the writer is Chandler, but it was really Hammett,
>and the gunsel was Wilmer in THE MALTESE FALCON. Shannon obviously knows
>and love the old hardboiled writers, so it's a strange mistake.

Damn him, now Woody's putting mistakes in other people's books!

Actually, in a later novel, Liffey actually meets Phil Marlowe. I thought it was a little gimmicky, but it certainly kicked a few holes in the Chandler myth too. Nobody gets a free ride in Shannon's books, least of all his protagonist or the author's own (obvious) politics.



------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Make a clean sweep of pop-up ads. Yahoo! Companion Toolbar. Now with Pop-Up Blocker. Get it for free! http://us.click.yahoo.com/L5YrjA/eSIIAA/yQLSAA/kqIolB/TM --------------------------------------------------------------------~->
RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ Yahoo! Groups Links
<*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rara-avis-l/
<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: rara-avis-l-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 12 Nov 2004 EST