Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Hardboiled genealogy

From: Robert Elkin (
Date: 10 Feb 2006

I did not find hostility in your Ellroy comments, Brian. I know many people for whom the book held no satisfaction, & have heard remarks similar to yours before. Which is good--taste doesn't exist when it comes to stds. anyway. Where I DID find hostility was in your anti-intellectual "big brain"/"Joyce" comments, whether intended or not. The sum total implied that because you yourself did not find worthy the authors you mentioned (think Tolstoy was in there too), only "nerds" or "eggheads" (i.e., the
"big-brained") could do so. Which is offensive to me. But that was then, this is now. Maybe you didn't mean what you implied. Or maybe we're all characters in a round-robin manuscript passed among Tolstoy, Joyce, Ellroy, and maybe even Harry Stephen Keeler. Which would make us all the puppets of the big-brained.
(Sounds like SF, no?) Best, Rob

--- Brian Thornton <> wrote:

> Robert Elkin wrote:
> > Thanks for the hostility, Brian. Much
> appreciated.
> There was no hostility in my posting. My comments
> were directed at what I
> disliked about Ellroy's work. This is nothing new
> here. A search of the RA
> Archives will bear this out. Someone else here
> mentioned that they felt
> that Ellroy got it exactly right with WHITE JAZZ,
> but had descended into
> parody with his next book. My comments, while more
> explicit about what I
> disliked, style-wise, were not so different from
> that (I just felt that he
> descended into self-parody faster). Besides, like I
> said, I thought THE
> BLACK DAHLIA was brilliant.
> Isn't disagreement a logical and foreseeable
> by-product of discourse, and
> vice-versa? The last thing I'd expect anyone on
> this list to do is to agree
> with all of my opinions on the books we're talking
> about. Is it wrong to
> expect the full gamut of opinions to be expressed
> here when a controversial
> author comes up for discussion? After all, who
> wants to be involved in a
> book discussion list that is just one big love-fest
> for whichever author is
> getting discussed? If I were looking for that, I'd
> be motoring on over to
> one of those Oprah Book Club lists that must be all
> over the net by now.
> No harm intended, and nothing personal.
> All the Best-
> Brian Thornton

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 10 Feb 2006 EST