Re: RARA-AVIS: Language

Date: 24 Mar 2005

<<<Wasn't it also Hammett who said.

"He told me to do something that was anatomacally imposssible." ?>>>

Actually, I think Chandler said it, although Chandler was also using the bleep button in THE BIG SLEEP. Ross MacDonald seems to have the most fun dodging use of F bombs in THE DROWNING POOL. Archer's narrative sounds rather amused when he gets into confrontation and relates how his opponent told him repeatedly to do the anatomically impossible. (Now I'm going to have to go dig that book out and look it up.)

Not more than five years later, Spillane seems to be biting his tongue to avoid it. It's their in the dialogue, but it's not said.

Come the seventies, the gloves are off. Each early Spenser novel (You know, when Spenser was three dimensional, Hawk was scary, and Susan was merely the smart girlfriend instead of Aphrodite incarnate?) has an increasing number of F bombs. By the nineties, they're all over the f***ing place.

I do think it's a generational thing, methinks, which might explain why outcry over perceived obscenity is given more weight lately. Maybe people are getting tired of being "shocked," particularly when nothing is shocking anymore.

Jim Winter

Northcoast Shakedown

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 24 Mar 2005 EST