RARA-AVIS: Re: Ross Macdonald vs. Elmore Leonard

From: Jacques Debierue ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 23 Aug 2007

Jack, I see no reason whatever to compare Ross Macdonald with Elmore Leonard. As to _geniuses_, I don't think there have been any in the hardboiled and/or noir genres. Unless you count guys like Franz Kafka as noir writers, which is a stretch. Best, most original hardboiled/noir American writers in my book: Hammett, Chandler, Willeford, Himes, Thompson, Cormac McCarthy. I would place Leonard and Ross Macdonald a bit lower, but still high. But Leonard and Macdonald have never been in competition, and I doubt that they haven been seen as competitors by readers; they don't have much in common. It sounds like Gopnik is not very conversant with the genres he is discussing. Joyce Carol Oates has written similarly misguided things about Chandler, for example.



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