RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir involving US chattel slavery

From: foxbrick ( foxbrick@yahoo.com)
Date: 23 May 2008

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "jacquesdebierue"
<jacquesdebierue@...> wrote:
> --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Moore" <moorich@>
> >
> > "The Neccessity of His Condition" was a great story. Davidson
> > so many fine stories. There was one collection of his mystery
> > stories published after his death. Few are noir but I am a
> > for anything by him. There was also a hard-to-find collection
of his
> > true crime pieces published by Regency Books in the early 1960s
> > I have around here somewhere. As with the "Necessity" short
> > Davidson did a great deal of research for the articles even
> > the magazine word rate was low. I especially recall the article
> > Devil's Island, one of the great noir locations in the world and
> > literature.
> >
> You know what, now that you mention the title, it does sound very
> familiar....

"The Necessity of His Condition" was most recently in THE AVRAM DAVIDSON TREASURY, edited by Grania Davidson, and the excellent posthumous collection of his crime fiction is THE INVESTIGATIONS OF AVRAM DAVIDSON edited by Davis and Richard Lupoff, a title which echoes by intention that of perhaps Davidson's magnum opus, THE ENQUIRIES OF DOCTOR ESTERHAZY, which will reward any reader of crime fiction who also appreciates the fantastic and the baroque...an expanded editiion, THE ADVENTURES OF DOCTOR ESTERHAZY, is in print.

At the current remove, it seems very clear that EQMM's Fred Dannay liked to encourage crime fiction that spoke up for civil rights and against bigotry whenever possible.

Davidson's most completely successful novel, MASTERS OF THE MAZE, draws on his experience as a responsible writer of historical crime articles for Men's Sweat and true crime magazines; his protagonist is one of the more typical irresponsible contributors. Algis Budrys noted that Davidson's meticulous research, including interviews and site investigation, caused much eye-rolling among those who wrote bad fiction to be presented as fact, all published under variations of the title (as Harry Harrison put it once, iirc) "Love Starved Arabs Raped Me Often." At least one major anthology of those "true men's adventure" stories and covers has been published recently (and bits of them are all over the web, of course), but no one's bothered to put CRIMES AND CHAOS back into print...perhaps Grania Davis or Henry Wessells will manage that eventually.

Mario, I'm not sure I understand your comment...you recall the story after reading Richard's citation of the title? Two citations of the title, including mine, jog the memory?

Todd Mason, who would suggest that PRIME CUT is certainly close enough to noir, or at least a nightmare, and would've been moreso, probably, if its releasing company hadn't been collapsing as it was being filmed, and what we saw as final cut was far from prime, so much as rushed out and showing all sorts of signs of that. And FINN as well as its source certainly should be considered relevant...thanks for the citation of the Hambly, Cap.

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