RE : Woolrich and Whitfield, was Re: RARA-AVIS: Fright & Savage Bride

From: Fabienne soldini (
Date: 09 Feb 2008

I agree with you. It's so good for a reader to be manipulated by a good whriter!
  "Shuter island" by Dennis Lehane, for me, is a good example.

jacquesdebierue <> a 飲it :
          --- In, harry.lerner@... wrote:

> My question is did either author intend for these stories to turn out
> this way or were they merely the results of different kinds of literary
> experimentation?
> Any insight on either author would be greatly appreciated!

I wouldn't say it's an insight, but Woolrich does manipulate the reader, and he does by sheer magic of language. He can be ornate or he can be very blunt, depending on the story. His technical mastery is total. I don't agree with those who speak of "bad prose" in relation to Woolrich. He is a snake charmer and uses whatever suits him -- obviously, with varying degrees of success, but that is true of any writer.

As to Whitfield, he uses a different, far less hardboiled style in his Joe Gar stories, which are no less beautifully written for that. He could be as ultrahardboiled as any writer, but not always.




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