From: Bludis Jack ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 17 Dec 2004

Jim Winter said:

>>One thing I found off-putting was McGee's
attitude towards women. When reading McGee, one accepts that he's a tad condeescending toward women, and in the first two books, some of them push back.

>>In this one, McGee is put next to characters
even more brazenly sexist than he is, and MacDonald tries to use this to make McGee look more noble.

Doesn't work. He just comes off as slightly less

an asshole than the other men around him.<<

It was the times. Most men were assholes toward women back then and some of those who are still around from that time haven't learned. We love our grandfathers and fathers, but they are genrally on good behaviour around us and ours. They haven't learned new attitudes, they've just learned to shut up about them.

The reason I know this is because as ongoing research of the times I talk to people of that era. WW II vets in particular.

For his time, McGee was caring. And like many men from that time, any woman who made love to more than one man in her lifetime--unless her first husband died--was a slut.

I think we are more conscious of John D's bias because he covers the subject of relationships in a different way than Ross. We don't think of Spillane in that regard because we know he is a flaming asshole in most regards, which is why some love him. Marlowe, Spade and the Op generally have a disregard for women. To them, women are not very important and when they are, they are femme fatales.

One of the sadest reads of Chandler is "The Poodle Springs Story" in which Chandler to my observation is pussy whipped. Yes, the book was finished by Parker, but the early part, the part that Chandler wrote, was set it up that way.

I suppose that one reason I always come to the defense of John D. is that I loved his work when I read it as a kid--he was like my old man. It had been years since I read him and I read him again a few months ago. I do have to admit I had to bring him down from the pedistal in many regards, but primarily as a writer.

I'd better get a copy of BLACK MONEY. Ross MacDonald, who I always thought was too much for figures of speech, may be better than I remember him. To the best of my memory, I read the two writers practically back to back.

Jack Bludis

===== Shamus and Anthony nominee http://www.jackbludis.com
"Shadow of the Dahlia"

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