Re: RARA-AVIS: "...medical and legal support for the traditional libel against crime writing: that it is done by authors whose brains aren't fully working."

From: Dave Zeltserman (
Date: 28 Jan 2008

The fact that this author could've come up with such an inventive and clever idea for a lawsuit should've invalidated the premise of her suit!

In a way she's right--genre novels are exactly that--they're formulaic and follow accepted conventions. But not all crime novels are genre novels--quite a few actually break out of the mold--Vicki's Cruel Poetry, for example could be looked at just as easily as literary as it is a noirish crime novel. And I don't think Al's Hard Man follows any crime genre formula that I'm aware of. A few years ago Time Magazine came up with their list of 100 greatest novels, and it included Hammett's Red Harvest, Chandler's Big Sleep, Le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, West's Day of the Locust.

--Dave Z.

> >
> >
> >
> What I find funny about the article and the whole
> genre vs literature (or whatever) argument is how that
> same snobbery lives so well within the genre itself.
> Readers of hardboiled tend to look down on mystery
> writers and some mystery writers look down on those
> who write cozies and everybody looks down on those
> self-published. Yes, yes, I know it's an overstated
> generalization but it's there all the same.
> Anyway, that's what struck me as so funny . . .
> William
> Essays and Ramblings
> <>
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