Re: RARA-AVIS: The definition of classics

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 04 Nov 2007

--- Patrick King <> wrote:

>If Mickey Spillane becomes
> "classic hard-boiled" fiction, it will be due to the
> books. But it's the books' attitude toward reality,
> not their violent content, that undermine their
> chances. Green, Forsyth, LeCarre, Clancy & Cussler
> are
> all just as violent. Their attitude about people
> tend
> to be more universally current.
Not wanting to go off on a tangent here but I have a problem with Greene even being compared to Spillane and the others for that matter. Graham Greene wrote about humanity and worked in numerous genres to bring those stories across. The others didn't. They wrote genre that sometimes contained depth. But that was never their intent. I don't believe any of the other writers could even imagine let alone create "A Burnt-Out Case' and I think it one of Greene's lesser works. Greene is a guy who wrote about the world because he travelled the world and he knew the spies, bar girls, dictators, doctors, do-gooders and other players in wars and revolutions and sad and pointless affairs. In Greene's world there was violence because his world is our world. Spillane's world is not. And the others? In Greene's league? Never gonna happen . .


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