Father Figure (was Re: RARA-AVIS: Positions still open)

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 15 Aug 2008

  • Next message: Joy Matkowski: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Father Figure"

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Mark R. Harris"
    <brokerharris@...> wrote:

    > Oh, dear. I should know better than to respond to this, and I'll say
    > now that I don't intend to get into a lengthy dialogue with Mr. King
    > it (having seen how some of those go), but come on. In the art of
    > anything can be combined by a writer sufficiently talented,
    including genre
    > and non-genre elements. From any more nuanced point of view than
    that of a
    > hard-core genre purist who wants predictable experiences over and
    over, this
    > statement is inane drivel. How, in the hands of a competent writer,
    > forward enriched characters with "added elements" somehow detracts
    from the
    > "writer's job," is beyond me, no matter what type of story we're talking
    > about. I can't disparage the statement strongly enough.

    You are entirely correct. However, I suspect Patrick was thinking of padding (as in Robert Parker) that is essentially extraneous to the story, that doesn't really advance it or support it. But we should know better than trying to tell an author what he can and cannot write about. A brilliant writer can find gold in the most unlikely combinations and in a priori dry and boring topics. I don't see any reason why a hardboiled novel should not have a protagonist with a family and children, for example. And let's not forget that the PI genre occupies a much less central place in crime fiction today than it did in the past. You don't need a lone wolf in order to write a good hardboiled novel.



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