RARA-AVIS: Re: Political Thrillers

From: Gonzalo Baeza (gbaeza@gmail.com)
Date: 24 Aug 2008

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "jacquesdebierue"
    <jacquesdebierue@...> wrote:

    > 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.

    I think the idea of crime fiction being the social novel of the 21st century is very compelling. Nonetheless, I believe a lot of people seem to think that just because the genre deals with lowlife characters or criminality it automatically makes every work in it a socially relevant critique or depiction of the current state of affairs.

    There is a dichotomy in the idea that crime fiction engages in cutting edge social criticism on the one hand while on the other many readers
    & writers will be quick to berate mainstream fiction for attempting to be socially relevant at the expense of more "mundane" things such as a solid plot and telling an entertaining story. Then again, there's no reason why a good novel can't be a marriage of both entertainment and social critique.

    -Gonzalo B.

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