RARA-AVIS: MacDonald, Crumley, et al (was Re: THE IVORY GRIN/MARKED FOR MURDER)

From: Richard Moore ( moorich2@aol.com)
Date: 30 Nov 2004

Actually, James Ellroy was most lavish in his praise of Ross Macdonald mentioning him as a key influence way back in the early 80s. As I've related here before, Ellroy was on a panel with William Campbell Gault at the New York Bouchercon in 1982 or 83. Ellroy was not the big name he later became but made a splash with his comments and with his apparel--wearing golf knickers to this particular panel.

At some point, Ellroy dramatically called for quiet as he reverentially read a passage from an author not yet identified. It seemed a bad passage to me at the time as it was quite ornate and of the "look ma, I'm writing" variety.

There was silence when Ellroy finished which Gault broke with a growled "Who wrote that?"

Ellroy very dramatically said "Ross Macdonald!"

Gault immediately replied, "He shouldn't have."

The packed audience roared with laughter. I don't know that I have ever heard such an explosion of laughter in a Bouchercon before or since.

Richard Moore

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Duane Spurlock <duane1spur@y...> wrote:
> I agree that Crumley is excellent and influential. I guess I see
Sallis is following the more understated form or style of the tradition, which MacDonald represents to some degree. There's violence, yes, but its presentation is ... something I can't quite describe (need more caffiene) -- not dwelled upon, I guess.
> S
> P
> O
> I
> L
> E
> R
> .
> .
> .
> .
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> Take the scene at the end of THE CHILL (I think that's the one),
in which the mother kills herself with the knitting needles. If you think about it, that's pretty gruesome. But MacDonald handles it in such a way that I actually had to read the passage more than once to make sure what happened. In MacDonald, violence was usually quick
(or off-stage), and he focused his details on events and revelations that occurred after the violent event, the results of the violence. I see something similar in Sallis' work.
> Crumley is no shrinking violet in the influence department. His
work shows violence, it's still literary, but I see his influence more on the outright crime novel -- on guys like Ellroy and Bruen. Again, this is my off-the-cuff, gut-feeling-this-morning postulation, not a declaration. I may well be far off base. And I enjoy reading what the rest of you think about these things. Helps me to clarify my own thoughts.
> - Duane
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Nov 2004 EST