--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "jacquesdebierue"
> 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.
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