Re: RARA-AVIS: The moral implication of killing

From: Patrick King (
Date: 24 Oct 2007

First, to me, this discussion pertains to ***my fiction*** so it's fiction relevant to me. Second, without the reality, the fiction can't occur and the best fiction, as we all know, is the fiction that most powerfully injects the facts of reality into the mind of the reader. If the whole list gets bogged down in loosely related topics, I agree that would undermine the purpose. But this is one topic interesting to a few of us. There are several other conversations going on. Please allow us to finish our thoughts on this topic. We will move on. I do find it a little troubling that some people profoundly attracted to the grittiest aspects of crime fiction are put off by discussions about the elements of life that this fiction is actually about. It is only by studying these elements of life that new and innovative crime fiction can evolve. It is not just for his dialog that Elmore Leonard is noted at the best writer living for this type of fiction. It is because he understands and relates who and what criminals are, and their use of the loopholes that exist in the laws that try to restrain them. If he didn't take that extra push for the reality of the situation, he'd just be another crime writer with snappy dialog and fake polts.

Patrick King
--- hardcasecrime <> wrote:

> It does seem to me that there is a basic difference
> between
> discussing the death penalty (or any other topic) as
> it appears in or
> relates to fiction and discussing it purely as an
> issue in the real
> world. I'm not saying one's better or worse than
> the other -- it's
> not -- but there are different places where each is
> appropriate.
> If this were a mailing list about cooking, and
> people used it to
> compare recipes, discuss cooking techniques, share
> menus, review
> restaurants and chefs, etc., and someone started a
> protracted
> diatribe about cruelty to animals, would that be
> appropriate? It
> would be a perfectly reasonable topic to discuss --
> but not in that
> location, since that's not the purpose of that
> discussion group.
> Similarly, a protracted discussion of the Anthony
> Pellicano case
> would not (I think) be appropriate on Rara-Avis --
> he's a detective,
> but he's not a detective in *fiction*, which is what
> we're here to
> talk about. Now, if someone wrote a novel about
> Pellicano, fine; if
> someone said, "What novels resemble the Pellicano
> case?" fine; if
> someone wanted to talk about books that raise issues
> similar to those
> raised in the Pellicano case, fine. But to just
> talk about a non-
> fictional case itself, at length, for message after
> message after
> message, with nary a reference to fiction along the
> way? I doubt I'm
> the only person here who finds that annoying and
> disruptive. It's a
> conversation I might well be interested in taking
> part in somewhere
> else -- but not here.
> Just my 2 cents, obviously, and if the broad
> sentiment is otherwise,
> so be it. But this is not what I, at least, come to
> Rara-Avis for.
> --Charles
> P.S. To avoid any misunderstanding, I am not
> complaining at all about
> the *content* of anyone's comments. It's not that I
> am offended by
> one or the other sides in the death penalty debate,
> or that I am
> bothered by the discussion of sensitive topics, or
> anything of the
> sort. I only object to polluting a crime fiction
> list with an
> extended discussion of a topic other than crime
> fiction. Talk about
> the *connection* between fiction and the real world
> all you want --
> but when you start talking *only* about the real
> world, you're doing
> in the wrong place.
> --- In, Michael Robison
> <miker_zspider@...> wrote:
> >
> > Curt Purcell wrote:
> >
> > So does brutal interrogation, but I hardly see the
> hot
> > lights and rubber hoses of a Gold Medal classic as
> an
> > appropriate jumping-off point for a debate about
> > Abu-Ghraib or Gitmo. Why? Because fiction is
> > fiction. It's make-believe, no matter how
> "realistic"
> > it pretends to be. That's why I read it.
> >
> > ***************
> > Not much I can say to this. To me, the connection
> > that fiction has to the real world is what makes
> it
> > vital and relevant.
> >
> > miker
> >
> > __________________________________________________
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