--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
> The Professor wrote:
> > I think P.D.James and Dashiell Hammett are worlds apart.
> Which is what I said. I even used the phrase "worlds apart." I don't
> think you'll find anyone here seriously arguing that they're exactly
> the same. But my point was that someone who may have enjoyed Hammett
> might have also enjoyed James' quite different stab at the same sort
> of scenario. Particularly for those possessing a bit of intellectual
Well, people can read any book or combination of authors... But the world of Hammett and the world of James are not, at least a priori, likely to attract the same readers -- or more precisely, to both make fans out of readers.
> > I also think Hammett was the better writer by several orders of
> > magnitude. The kind of polite prose the P.D.James is admired for
> > does very little for me. ... I frankly don't understand the
> > politeness thing when everything else in society has moved towards
> > savagery, disorder and rule-bending.
> You really need to start hanging out with grown ups, Mario. Get out of
> the bunker and take a walk.
I don't live in a bunker. Quite the contrary. And I have eyes and ears. The politeness I was referring to is the writer's, James's, not the politeness of people.
> Some Americans are, in fact, quite civilized. And prefer it that way.
> They're not all violent, anti-intellectual louts. As fun as it may be
> to read (and write) about such characters, most Americans (and even
> this Canadian) take such stuff with a grain of salt.
I didn't say anything about anti-intellectual louts. I was alluding to how society functions, what goes on, how power is exercised, corruption, etc.
> Why, a large majority of Americans who bothered to vote even recently
> opted for a president who can read.
> And many Americans actually still say "please" and "thank you." Why,
> just yesterday some customers said it at the store. I heard them.
> Although, come to think of it, they might have just been visiting
I don't know what to say, this is a very broad brush. The internal carpentry of a society and the degree and form of politeness are two very different things.
> "I've said my piece; now it's off-topic"?
No, I just meant that James does not write hardboiled or noir literature. The comparison of James with Hammett is certainly not off-topic but the work of James would be. Not that I have any intention of censoring it, but it's not our focus here.
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