RARA-AVIS: Rara Avian Holiday Wishes (and a little something for Bob V.)

From: Brian Thornton (bthorntonwriter@gmail.com)
Date: 24 Dec 2008

  • Next message: davezeltserman: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Rara Avian Holiday Wishes (and a little something for Bob V.)"

    First the clarification, and then on to the important stuff.;)

    Bob V. wrote:

    "The list's Pelecanos haters (hi Brian!) should skip it."

    I don't *hate* Pelecanos. I've never met him (by all accounts he's a terrific fellow). And don't forget that I'm also the author of the following piece of considerable praise in his name: "To the good, I like how Pelecanos sets a scene, and he does a great job of describing Washington, DC in his novels. What's more, as a novelist, I think he's a superb screenwriter. The episodes of HBO's "The Wire" that he wrote were some of their best (and that is saying something)."

    Bear in mind that *I* yield to NO ONE in my admiration of THE WIRE, which I have said repeatedly is likely the BEST show EVER on television, EVER.

    And this got me thinking. I've been on RA at least since 2003 (might have been sooner. Al Guthrie was the guy who suggested I join), and although some weeks/months/years I post nothing and only browse through the posts, I always get *something* out of the list (most recently a reminder that I simply must put "Prince of Foxes" on my reading list. Renaissance Italy is an interest of mine).

    What I love most about RA is that it has resisted devolving into a "Me too"/cheerleading/"knitting circle" chat group, the type that pervades the web these days. Instead we've had long-running, intensive and exhaustive
    (some would say "exhausting") discussions of such on-point questions as
    "What is noir?", such tangential discussions as "what is existentialism?", and such off-the-reservation discussions as what constituted the ancient Greek notion of "agon".

    This is to say nothing of the great never-ending "The Long Goodbye" film adaptation thread, the question of whether De Palma's adaptation of Ellroy's great book "The Black Dahlia" was better than "Hollywoodland" (my review in favor of that second film stands), and the relative place of such worthies as Mickey Spillane, Ken Bruen, Dashiell Hammett, Ray Chandler, Megan Abbott, Cornell Woolrich, Mark Twain, Carroll John Daly, Michael Connelly, James M. Cain, Ross MacDonald, Jason Starr, and too many others to mention in the canon of great American literature.

    And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the friendships forged herein in the back-and-forth of sometimes heated (and yet still mostly civil) debate. In short, I get more out of this list than I put in to it, and for that, and for the fellowship, for the friends I've made and the things you folks have taught me, I continue to be grateful.

    My thanks during this season of thanks to all of you, and especially to our list moderators, who continue to help make Rara Avis worth tuning in to.

    Happy Holidays!


    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 24 Dec 2008 EST