Excellent...I support totally...
Numerous writers and critics of the so-called ³néo-polar² wave in France
referred to crime stories along those lines...
On 8/23/08 4:55 PM, "jacquesdebierue" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com <mailto:rara-avis-l%40yahoogroups.com> ,
> Tim Wohlforth <timwohlforth@...>
> There are references in the book to hundreds of
>> > novels and writers. Much of the analysis is tendentious and labored,
>> > yet his effort to see the evolution of the crime novel within the
>> > context of the changes in society as a whole, is a worthy one.
>> > For example, he sees the classic detective story of Agatha Christie,
>> > Sayers, etc., as reflecting "the triumphant rentier ruling class of
>> > the pre- and post-1914 period in the Anglo-Saxon countries" resulting
>> > in treating crime as "schematic, conventional and artificial." A
>> > retreat "from the streets into the drawing room." He did not like
>> > "serie noire" which he identifies with Spillane. He saw the
>> > "violence, brutality, cruelty, sadism" in such novels as a reflection
>> > of a sick society: they were phenomena of social decomposition."
>> > He concludes "The history of the crime story is a social history, for
>> > it appears intertwined with the history of bourgeois society itself.
>> > And finally "perhaps...bourgeois society is, when all its said and
>> > done a criminal society." Mandel, whose book Late Capitalism created
>> > quite a sensation in the days of the New Left, passed away in 1995.
> A very worthy writer, although his style is labored. He touches upoon
> a lot of relevant stuff. To me, it's clear that the genre we love so
> much is completely intertwined with bourgeois society. Some of the
> authors, notably Chandler, were acutely aware of this even as they
> were writing their stories and novels. What is Chandler if not a
> social critic of the society in Southern California? Hammett does not
> come out so explicitly, but it's there. Today, you find the same
> critical spirit in Pelecanos, Mosley, Connelly and countless other
> Perhaps the question would be, more properly, which hardboiled or noir
> writer today is NOT acutely aware of the crisis and of what is going
> on in society? I cannot name a single one among those I read. It seems
> to me that good American literature post-Twain rarely falls into
> innocent escapism. Those pulp stories are loaded with dead accurate
> social observations. And American humorists are notoriously scathing
> as social critics. So it all fits.
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