RARA-AVIS: Re: Women who are men

From: Channing ( filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 05 Jul 2006

There's no doubt the idea of women impersonating men and vice-versa has been popular throughout the history of literature. One of the finest recent noir movies "The Crying Game" used it to devastating and audience shocking effect.

However, when Mike Hammer is both A) Allegedly one of New York's finest detectives, and B) Allegedly one of New York's biggest studs, the fact that he mistakes a "hot dame" with a
"killer body" for a dude elicits only derision and disbelief. It is an utterly stupid twist in the context of that particular book. And it is simultaneously both obnoxiously homophobic and sexist as Hammer gleefully blows the offending transvestite away. Sure it may reflect some of the 1950's paranoia towards women, but read from the modern viewpoint it's insulting.

However, to further give Spillane some more credit as a writer, not only was he great at writing hard-boiled action, but he was skillful in creating page-turning stories and was the master of ending a book on a stunner of a sentence to finish off the book with maximum impact.

Jim Thompson was no slouch at that last trick, either.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 05 Jul 2006 EDT