Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Spillane and misogyny

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 09 Jul 2006

Jim Doherty wrote:

>Years later, in THE GIRL HUNTERS, we find out that she
>was not just an ex-cop, but some kind of sub rosa
>super-fed, who, in the course of a case, gets called
>back into service, sent on a deep cover assignment in
>the Soviet Union (she's presumed dead all this time,
>and Hammer goes into an emotional tailsping blaming
>himself), and gather enough intel, we are led to
>believe, that she damned near wins the whole Cold War

You know where you go to find outlandishly plotted melodrama of the type you lay out above, Jim?

Soap operas.

>No THAT'S a strong woman. You may argue that it's
"comic-book" strong, and I won't dispute that, but strong is strong. I can't imagine Effie Perrine, Lucy Hamilton, or even Della Street managing to cripple, if not quite bring down, the whole Soviet espionage system.

No one could. That's why they call it "cartoony."

>I'd argue that no one who was truly a mysogynist
would, or could, create a character at once so strong and so sympathetic.

Sure they could. They would probably just have a real problem making them believable. That's Spillane's problem here as well. Now, you can argue that "heroic" and believable don't naturally go hand in hand, but with all due respect, there's "willing suspension of disbelief," and there's stuffing your ears with cotton and putting your blinders on!

>That may not make him any more to your taste, but that's a different matter.

It doesn't. Say what you will about Spillane. His writing has not stood the test of time very well. Read a chapter of "The Maltese Falcon," then one of "The Long Goodbye," one from "Build My Gallows High," one from "The Phantom Lady," and then one from "The Galton Case," then read a random one from either "I, The Jury," or "The Girl-Hunters." There's a serious drop-off there, energetic prose or not.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

RARA-AVIS home page:
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 09 Jul 2006 EDT