RARA-AVIS: Sixties and seventies' P.I's

From: Juri Nummelin ( juri.nummelin@pp.inet.fi)
Date: 08 May 2006


> I raised the question because a recent
> PI criticism I read suggested that the quality of the
> PI genre went downhill during this period.

Hasn't this been common criticism throughout the eighties and still in the nineties? At least when I came in and started to read the stuff (my first Chandler and Ross Macdonald being in 1985 or 1986), everyone was lamenting about the death of good private eye writing. And everyone seemed to opine that there hadn't been a good private eye writer after Macdonald. I had these discussions with people still in the nineties when I got to have a clue about what was going on in the US (and what had been going on all the time). I remember very well the astonishment with which people lauded writers like Elmore Leonard and Willeford. They thought they came from nowhere, from barren land that was once rich with writings of Chandler, Macdonald and Hammett.

This was of course in Finland and lots of people didn't know much about American crime literature. There were some translations, such as Collins's ACT OF FEAR (which is truly excellent), but I don't think that was widely read, and some paperbacks, but they were deemed unreadable and utter trash.

Juri http://pulpetti.blogspot.com

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