Re: RARA-AVIS: Vietnam noir

From: Bengt Eriksson / Media I Morron I Dag (
Date: 09 Aug 2009

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    Sorry, I havenīt mailed till now. My mailserver took a rest, suddenly and unexpected.

    The paper you wrote about post-Vietnam detetective Novels, is it on the net somewhere I can read it?

    And no, I havenīt read either Sympathy for the devil by Kent Anderson or Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone but I certainly will, as soon as possible.

    Bengt E

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Mark Sullivan" <> To: "rara-avis" <> Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 6:46 PM Subject: RE: RARA-AVIS: Vietnam noir

    > I actually wrote a paper on that way back when, "From GI to PI: The
    > Post-Vietnam Hard-boiled Detective Novel." I was writing long before
    > Connelly, Burke or Cole were writing and was already finding a number of
    > vets among the wave of new PIs: along with Crumley's Sughrue, Spenser,
    > Peter Israel's BF Cage, Gregory McDonald's Fletch and Timothy Harris's
    > Thomas Kyd were all veterans. The latter says:
    > "For some reason clients trust inverstigators with war records. They
    > assume you're going to be methodical and tough. I didn't see any reason
    > to tell Joe Eleval that of the four soldiers in the picture, one had as
    > oil-burning junk habit, one had been court martialed for black market
    > activities, another was now in a Mexican jail for drug possession, and the
    > fourth, whose name was Thomas Kyd, had spent a month under psychiatric
    > observation in a military hospital. I didn't tell him that it had taken
    > me over three years to get out of the habit of throwing myself flat on the
    > street when I heard a car backfiring. Was it the picture of me with a
    > crew cut and in officer's uniform that decided him? I'll never know. He
    > frowned at it a long time."
    > There have been many since, including those you note. Wasn't Rob Kanter's
    > Ben Perkins also a vet? Wasn't Mac Bolan a vet, too? Wasn't that where
    > he was when his family was destroyed?
    > And, as you also note, there are a lot of bad guys who got their skills
    > there.
    > Of course, that's nothing new. I found that PI series writing seemed to
    > have booms after wars, WW I, II and Korea before Vietnam.
    > World War I
    > Joseph Shaw in the intro to Hard-boiled Omnibus: "We returned from a five
    > year sojourn abroad during and following the First World War . . ."
    > World War II
    > Lew Archer in Doomsters: "ever since the Army, big institutions depressed
    > me: channels, red tape, protocol, buck-passing, hurry up and wait."
    > (Another character in the book was defined by the Korean conflict: "Tom
    > had played his part in the postwar rebellion that turned so many boys
    > against authority.")
    > And if you're interested in Vietnam noir, you should really check out
    > Robert Stone's excellent Dog Soldiers.
    > Mark
    >> To:
    >> From:
    >> Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 12:35:08 +0200
    >> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Vietnam noir
    >> Still writing about James Crumley, thinking:
    >> Could one say there is a "new" genre inside the noir genre that could be
    >> called Vietnam noir, possibly with the word trauma in the middle.
    >> There seem to be so many detectives (police or private) in (and also
    >> outside) the American noir and hard-boiled genres who are Vietnam
    >> veterans:
    >> Harry Bosch (Michael Connely), Dave Robicheaux (James Lee Burke), Elvis
    >> Cole
    >> (Robert Crais) and more.. ???
    >> And C.W. Sughrue (Crumley), as well - and most? In the Sughrue novels
    >> Vietnam seems to be alive so to speak more than in most other Vietnam
    >> (trauma) noir, or am I wrong?
    >> Och then there must be loots of Vietnam vets on the bad side in American
    >> noir fiction.
    >> Is it right to talk about noir after Vietnam, did the Vietnam war change
    >> both noir and hard-boiled crime writing? And what will happen after the
    >> Irak
    >> war?
    >> Bengt
    >> ------------------------------------
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    > ------------------------------------
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