RARA-AVIS: Re: Tobias Jones on Ross Macdonald in yesterday's Guardian

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 05 Aug 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
    > Whereas Hammett, Chandler, Macdonald and Spillane pretty much make up
    > the Mt. Rushmore of hard-boiled detective fiction.

    In truth, there isn't any Mt. Rushmore but only a bunch of books. It is perfectly normal that I pick up a book like The Hot Spot and consider it a masterpiece without any regard to Mt. Rushmore or to Chandler, Hammett or Macdonald. It is not very reasonable to say that Ross Macdonald stands higher than Donald Westlake or Charles Willeford? Higher in what sense, precisely?

    What we have, it seems, is a contagion of the celebrity culture -- but literature is not about celebrity, is about books --and their quality, when speaking critically.

    I don't feel any particular need to have literary heroes. All I care about is good books. I don't care who wrote them or how famous the author is.


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