Re: RARA-AVIS: "...medical and legal support for the traditional libel against c

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 28 Jan 2008

--- In, "Dave Zeltserman" <dz@...> wrote:
> 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-

The idea that there is a "formula" for crime fiction comes from a false identification of crime fiction with classic PI fiction. The bottle in the drawer, the shabby office, the outsider who wants to find the truth no matter what, etc. But if you look at crime fiction, it can encompass practically any situation, any environment (rural, city, the mythological West, any country, any point of view, as wide a range of characters as any other type of fiction).

If you make a list of a dozen of the greatest crime novels and try to find a common formula, you won't find it. What does Red Harvest have to do with The Day of the Locust, formulawise? Nothing. What does Leonard's Freaky Deaky have to do with a Parker novel by Richard Stark or with a Jim Sallis novel? Nothing.

I regard this distinction between genre fiction and literary fiction as 99% bullshit, no, 100% bullshit.




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