RARA-AVIS: Talkin' Tough About Nancy Drew

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 04 Jun 2009

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    James wrote:

    > By the way, did anyone else read the article in the NY Times about
    > all of the female Justices being Nancy Drew fans? How scary is that?

    Why? Are you running a counterfeit organization in River Heights?

    That a young girl may have been inspired by a intelligent, brave, moral and compassionate role model doesn't scare me at all. After all, they can't all be brain-dead scullery maids and whores.

    What would you have preferred they read as children? PENTHOUSE?

    He continues, in another post:

    > I ain't got nuthin' against Nancy Drew, 'cept I'm a bit afeered of
    > my Supreme Ct. all being addicted to her. My bestest girlfriend had
    > the complete Nancy Drew, and I even went and bought a couple myself...

    Nowhere does it say in the article that they're currently "addicted" to them; merely that they were inspired by them as young girls.

    So you have nothing to be "afeered" at.

    And how did your "bestest girlfriend" turn out?

    Or are your concerns more literary?

    Because Nancy Drew (and her brothers-in-arms The Hardy Boys) were the kid-friendly equivalent of the early hard-boiled crime pulps, and were in fact contemporaries. The Hardy Boys and Drew both made their debut about the same time Hammett and Gardner and Daly were running amuck in the pages of BLACK MASK.

    And with their colourful characters, breathless plots, purplish prose and fast-paced action (and occasional political incorrectness), Nancy and the Boys were viewed with more than a little suspicion by the so- called arbiters of decency and taste. Just as the pulps were.

    As the gateway drug that probably lead a lot of us of a certain more literate age here, I think the various offspring of the Stratemeyer
    (sorry if that's too hard to pronounce) Syndicate deserve a little more respect.

    Kevin Burton Smith Thrilling Detective Web Site Spring 2009 Issue Now Online
    "Love Rears It's Ugly Head"

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