RARA-AVIS: Re: James M. Cain

From: jacquesdebierue ( jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 01 Oct 2007

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Lawrence Coates" <coatesl@...> wrote: I was also re-reading Faulkner's "Dry September," a great short
> story about a lynching. The characters are dropping the N-bomb all
over the place, of
> course, but when it came to using "black son of a bitch," it was
shortened to "black son."
> Whether it was because of publishing standards or self-censorship, I
don't know.

That's a great story, one of my favorites, together with _Barn Burning_. I am going to reread it. I keep the Faulkner collected stories always at hand. I think I have three or four copies of this.

> But that's all more about language than actually leaving sex out and
dry martinis in.

Yes, it seemed like an obsession about sex, resulting in pretty comical writing in order to avoid it. But then, the obsession with breasts, as manifested in the Janet Jackson thing, is pretty astonishing many decades later. I mean, women have breasts, no great novelty, no offense to anybody. But audiovisual and written materials don't always have the same regulations.

> Miller had trouble getting published, as I recall, and much of his
work appeared first in
> France. But that's not the kind of writer Rara Avis usually talks

I was thinking of pulp writers of the twenties and thirties, who seem more realistic in this sense than later writers. Hays Code was for films, but perhaps the case of the pulp magazines was a gray area, with no clearly imposed rules. Perhaps nobody cared about the pulps?



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