Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled and Marxism

From: Allan Guthrie (
Date: 04 Sep 2006

Rob, surely every screenwriter on The Wire or Deadwood can't have the same 'social assumptions.'? What about co-authored novels -- James Patterson's 'social assumptions' or the guy who writes the novel from Patterson's spec? What about books written under house names -- can you tell the various authors apart by their different 'social assumptions'? What about Eric Knight, who wrote LASSIE, and, under the name Richard Hallas, also wrote YOU PLAY THE BLACK AND THE RED COMES UP -- same 'social assumptions'? What about multiple viewpoint narratives, where the 'social assumptions' differ from character to character -- how do you know which 'social assumption' (if any) is the author's?


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Rob Preece, Publisher
  Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2006 8:41 PM
  Subject: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled and Marxism

  I'm straining my mind to come up with examples (without much luck--where did I leave my memory), but there were dozens of B movies from the 40s and early 50s that were strongly hardboiled and carried profoundly socialistic messages. The McCarthy-driven purge of the movie industry was partly driven by these films. I'm not talking about Grapes of Wrath here (although that was a great movie, it was hardly hardboiled).

  What an interesting discussion. I think that most fiction carries with it the social assumptions of its author--whether he/she admits it or not.

  Rob Preece

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