Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Neo-nah...

Date: 05 Jul 2007

"Hopefully, this neo-nah fad of adolescent acting out (suggested upcoming title: STAPLED TO DEATH: THAT WAS EASY) will soon fade away as well, and those currently trying to cash in on it will go back to writing better, stronger books. Some of them, judging from their work in the past, are certainly capable of it."

Kevin, PLEEEEEEEASE give some specific examples, not hyperbolic parodies
(which are kind of ironic in a complaint about hyperbolic parodies). At this point I have no idea whether I agree with you or disagree. Yes, some writers go overboard; yes, some substitute style for substance; yes, some seem to be stringing together graphically violent (and/or sexual) scenes into a very tenuous plot. But do you and I agree on who or in what books? Until you offer examples, we really can't discuss what is or is not gratuitous and why. I can think of necessary and gratuitous examples of most of your scenarios. A chainsaw alone, for example, does not render a work torture porn. And it's not just in how a character might make use of that or some other implement, but how the writer describes it AND contextualizes in in a work.

And I really have trouble understanding how anything you claim of today's noir/hardboiled does not apply to that of old. Yes, on a standard scale, today's fiction is far more graphic/explicit than that of old, but they're pretty comparable when measured against the mainstreams of their own eras instead of against each other. As the mainstream becomes more accepting, it takes more to titilate, shock, etc. In fact, your entire argument, including the hyperbole reads amazingly close to essays I've read that railed against Spillane in his heyday.

And I can't help but ask: is gratuitous always bad? It seems pretty puritanical to say that appealing directly to the body and bypassing the intellect is evil. In other words, what's really so bad about appealing to prurient interests? Sometimes I want to read something that makes me think, but other times I want something that's just a comic booky rollercoaster ride, something disposable and fun. Most times I want a combination of the two.

"In fact, I felt it strongly enough to cross-post it in a few other places, and I felt gratitude that the majority of the responses from readers and writers and editors have supported me."

Now this cracked me up -- How can someone railing against the tyranny of a tasteless majority claim vindication in having a majority agree with his complaint about the status quo? And since when does the guy who used to love to depict himself as an iconclast look to the majority?


"Hey, I'm all for black humour."

You live in the US now, dude, drop the "u" in humor!


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 05 Jul 2007 EDT