From: moorich2@aol.com
Date: 05 Feb 2005

I must confess that I was unable to reread the assigned text of BLACK MONEY, even though I lugged it through several states in December. Then I found myself reading some of the Joseph Hansen's I had missed after his death.

Although I have a paperback somewhere of BLACK MONEY, I couldn't find it so picked up a cheap copy of the omnibus ARCHER AT LARGE that also includes THE GALTON CASE and THE CHILL. It might be of interest to quote from the Macdonald introduction.

"As I look over such alter books as THE CHILL and BLACK MONEY, I'm struck by obvious changes in my work. When I took up the hardboiled novel, beginning in 1946 with BLUE CITY, I was writing in reaction against a number of things, among them my strict academic background. The world of gamblers and gunmen and crooked politicians and their floozies seemed realer somehow, more central to experience than the cool university life I knew.

"In these later books, the academic life keeps creeping back in. Its privileged upper world, like the sub-world of professional crime, does have of course its plots and counterplots, its knifings and its bloodless assassinations, its politicians and players for high stakes, its guilty lover. And the campus, which seemed in my prewar youth to have a seductive lingering medieval unreality, has become where it is at.

"In BLACK MONEY, the corruptions of the world invade a college campus and make themselves at home there. Perhaps because its binocular view includes in a single pattern the pits of Las Vegas and the groves of academe, some academic reviewers have considered BLACK MONEY anti-academic. I'm afraid on the other hand it betrays how persistently academic my mind has remained through twenty-six years of detective-story writing. In either case, as university people become central figures in our society, they merit unsheltered treatment in fiction as in life. The lords of the military-industrial-complex may be as subject
 to tragic flaws as Shakespeare's kings.

"The reader who comes to BLACK MONEY fresh from THE GALTON CASE will notice similarities in structure, and in the central characters. The boy from Canada and the boy from Panama were intended to match and balance each other. But the world, or my vision of it, darkened in the seven years that elapsed between the two novels; and the Panamanian boy comes to a worse end."

THE GALTON CASE was published in 1959.

Richard Moore

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

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 05 Feb 2005 EST