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« But will my students believe this? | Main | Friday Cat Blogging »

May 24, 2006

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Andre Mayer

I don't really see how Hall and Auster "join forces." Warlock is a Western; Hall's detective stories are mysteries (and just about the only historical mysteries that are actually good). Auster's "mysteries," as you note, aren't anything of the sort. Writing literature within the constraints of genre is an altogether different project from bursting through those constraints.

Ray Davis

I agree they're different projects, but "bursting" gives Auster too much credit -- it implies he actually felt constrained in the first place. I'd say more like "playing make-believe with those constraints." He wasn't taking the sort of risk that professional genre writers such as Joanna Russ have taken -- or even the sort of risk the "Ellery Queen" team took when they let their ghostwriter do an "Ellery Queen" novel in which the "Ellery Queen" detective deduced wrongly and caused the execution of an innocent party. (That one blew my mind when I was eleven.)

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