RARA-AVIS: Re: Violence for the sake of...?

From: crimeflix ( jmks100@aol.com)
Date: 23 Mar 2005

A poster the other day talked about how Thompson, Cain, Chandler, etc wrote excellent tough prose without cursing, so writers today should do the same...This really doesn't make sense to me at all. Of course it's possible to write tough without cursing but writers in the '50s were constrained by the times. My guess is that Thompson and Cain, and especially Goodis, would have loved to use more natural street language but simply couldn't--their publishers wouldn't have all owed it. Good writing usually overcomes this but sometimes the lack of profanities in writers for that era sticks out for me. I love Highsmith, for example, but sometimes her writing seems awkard to me when she writes something like "he cursed" without letting us know what the curse is...IMHO, George V. Higgins really opened up the language of crime fiction with the The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and later Willeford and Leonard picked up the torch...Today, I think, crime writers have much more freedom of language the 50's pulp writers, and this is a good thing....Similarly, the language in crime films has evolved. Think Double Indemnity vs. Pulp Fiction? Because Double Indemnity was effective without cursing that means that Pulp Fiction should've had no cursing because Double Indemnity was a classic? Sorry, but that just doesn't hold up for me..... J http://www.jasonstarr.com

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Mar 2005 EST