Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Small Crimes

From: Jeff Vorzimmer (
Date: 12 Mar 2010

  • Next message: davezeltserman: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Small Crimes"

    There was an anthology of stories from Manhunt, which, if I recall correctly had a story by Caldwell. I imagine the anthology is pretty hard to find these days.

    ----- Original Message ----- From: <> To: <> Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 5:26 PM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Small Crimes

    > I've been looking to buy somecopies of Manhunt lately, and noticed that in the Oct. '54 issue there was a story by Erskine Caldwell. That may be old news here, but I just saw it.
    > RJR
    > --- In, "Allan Guthrie" <allan@...> wrote:
    >> Interesting, Dave. There's no denying that paperback originals exploded in
    >> the 50s and gave us a lot of the writers we admire these days. Many of those
    >> writers were struggling to find a hardcover publisher and the pbo explosion
    >> was something of a godsend. I'm not sure how prevalent noir was in the 50s,
    >> though. Most paperback originals weren't that dark. Goodis, Thompson, etc.,
    >> were exceptions rather than the norm.
    >> Books like Double Indemnity, How Like A God and Anyone's My Name were highly
    >> original in concept at the time they were published. These days they'd seem
    >> pretty cliched because they've been imitated so often (I don't know if
    >> that's true of HLaG, haven't read it, but I suspect if it failed to get
    >> published it would be on account of the second person narrative rather than
    >> being too dark). Not sure who published Woolrich or Macdonald originally,
    >> but I'm pretty sure Woolrich's first published books weren't crime novels.
    >> Incidentally, Erskine Caldwell's debut -- the ultra-noir THE BASTARD, from
    >> 1929 -- would appear to have been self-published, something I only recently
    >> discovered. Too dark for New York, I suspect. Might also explain why he
    >> rarely spoke about it.
    >> Al
    >> ----- Original Message -----
    >> From: "davezeltserman" <Dave.Zeltserman@...>
    >> To: <>
    >> Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 6:03 PM
    >> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Small Crimes
    >> > Al, thinking about this a little bit, I'll stick with my original
    >> > observation, and that's that publishing has changed dramatically over the
    >> > past 25 years, specifically crime fiction, with much more resistance by NY
    >> > to publish dark crime fiction and real noir. Yes, many of the great noir
    >> > books from Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Charles Williams, Dan Marlowe,
    >> > Peter Rabe, etc. came from Gold Medal and other paperback publishers, but
    >> > at least they existed--today, Hard Case is the only equivalent I can think
    >> > of, and Charles is publishing a tiny fraction of original crime fiction
    >> > compared to Gold Medal. And I'll stick by that books like Dead City,
    >> > Cain's Postman and Double Indemnity, Seymour Shubin's Anyone's My Name,
    >> > Rex Stout's How Like a God, all published by NY as hardcovers would be
    >> > just about off limits to NY today. All you have to do is look at the most
    >> > popular PI from the 50s, Mike Hammer, and the last 25 years, Spenser, to
    >> > see how much crime fiction changed. Btw. who published Cornell Woolrich
    >> > and Ross Macdonald originally?
    >> >
    >> > --Dave
    > ------------------------------------
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