Re: RARA-AVIS: Conrad, Hemingway and Faulkner (was: Dan Fortune series)

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 05 May 2005


I think that speaking of modern literature, Faulkner is one of the important writers. I do not know why, but it seems that he is not correctly paid his due by recent contemporary Aglo-Saxon literary critics and lit. historians.

I'm glad to hear that you admire Conrad. I share this with you. He's one of the real founders of modern writing and modern literature. His legacy and influence is outstanding. Personally I see him *also* as one of the distant roots of modern noir, roots of literary or mystery noir novels. That's a point of view I advocated since quite some time on this list. Conrad can be reread and reared. And must.

I think that the Hemingway heritage is more strictly focused on minimalization of style and "distanciation", influencing a lot of writers who more or less are using a behaviorist writing in their novels. On the other hand, his often exaggerated stand proclaiming and supporting a "life of action(s)" - and that kind of views he often developed in his novels- is now obsolete, I think.

Conrad's views and feelings on the human condition, to the contrary, are universal.

E(tienne) Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

Dennis Lynds wrote:

>Dear Jacques,
> .../..
>So you noticed the touch of Faulkner, did you. You may be the first one, or
>at least the first to mention it. (People tend to approach experience and
>literature with preconceived notions. We see what we expect to see, what we
>want to see, and most readers of mystery and detctive stories don't expect
>to see Faulkner, or for most part want to. Hence Barzun and Wilson.)
>But, yes, I have read and reread all of Faulkner's novels countless times.
>There is always more to discover in each one. He is to me the greatest
>American writer, and possibly, together with Conrad, the greatest writer.
>Conrad was my first great discovery, and to me it is clear that he must have
>been Faulkner's too. It is obvious that Faulkner owed a large debt to
>Conrad, and the two of them have been large influences. Not, obviously, in
>style or meter, as you say, but in much else. In style I am of that
>generation in which no writer could escape Hemingway (not even Faulkner if
>you read some of his early stories. I recall one, it's name escapes me at
>the moment, that was about WW One, and was perfect Hemingway.) We did our
>best to escape Papa, but it was difficult, and many potentially good were
>destroyed by it. I think I succeeded with the help of Conrad, Faulkner,
>Hardy, the American proletarian writers, and, above all, Nelson Algren. Of
>course none of that is really for me to say, but I thank you for noticing
>the Faulkner in me, I couldn't have a greater compliment.

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