RARA-AVIS: Re: Name Your Poison

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 25 Aug 2006

Great points, Kevin. Most private eye stories--almost all of them have the same relationship to reality that most western stories have to the historic west.

Richard Moore

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
> Jacques Debierue asked:
> > What exactly does the real present-day PI do? Surely he can't be
> > much "divorce work", or chasing the proverbial "missing daughter"?
> > Does he even drink or want to? Does he have or need an office, or
> > he work from home and his SUV? Who hires him?
> >
> > I ask these things because life has changed so much since the
> > era of the PI with bottle, pretty and/or motherly secretary,
> > cops (except for one who remains grudgingly loyal), etc. etc.
> Well, you do realize it was always a fantasy, right?
> Fiction is not real life. Fiction has to make sense of some sort.
> Real life doesn't operate under those restrictions.
> Even Hammett's so-called "realism" was pretty much a romanticized
> tidied-up version of life in the Pinks (a quick perusal of his
> article "From the Memoirs of a Private Detective" is mostly tall
> tales and bullshit), just as Chandler's take was a romanticized
> version of the lone wolf operator.

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