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With reference to Chandler and James Ellroy, critically examine the conventions of hard-boiled fiction, attending to stylistic features, narrative construction and content.
‘If the comic book, ironically for its name, is turning more serious, what is happening to crime fiction?’ (From The Telegraph site, Dark deeds, November15, 2009)
According to Jake Arnott who has written five hardboiled novels, it is not possible to write crime stories as before, to have solution to mysteries. ‘Because the world is changed, it is not possible to resolve the world’s problems’. (From The Telegraph site, Dark deeds, November15, 2009) Hard-boiled fiction originated in the USA in the 1920s sand 1930s. In 1921 the black Mask magazine was launched which promoted the hard boiled school and nurtured the writing of authors such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hamme. This new type of detective had to balance
Hard-boiled detective fiction reflects the masculine anxiety ov the femme fatal. The hard-boiled male modernized conception of masculinity was of a tough, shell-like exterior and effective physical body. ‘The two idealized figures of detective and pioneer share a multiplicity of characteristics: professional skills, physical courage affirmed as masculine potency, fortitude, moral strength, a fierce desire for justice, social marginality and a degree of anti-intellectualism’.(Willett, R.1992) On the basis of Chandler’s work, it is common to take Philip Marlowe as the exemplar of tough masculinity exaggerating his typicality. Living in modest circumstances and opposed to corrupt politicians, brutal policeman and slimy hoodlums, he has been the focus for populist resentment towards the power over others and over the world around them exercised by authority. On The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy, there are masculinity characters; Bucky Bleihert is an ex-boxer now cop who wrangled his way into Warrants, where all the best cops go, by fighting his Warrants partner to be Lee Blanchard.s in violent acts.
The last aspect of hard-boiled
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Breu, C. (2005) Hard-boiled masculinities, Minnesota Univ.
Chandler, R. (1988) The simple Art of Murder, London, Vintage Books. 988
Chandler. R. (1939) The Big Sleep.
Horsley, L. (2005) Twentieth-century Crime Fiction. Oxford Univ.
Horsley, L. (2001) The Noir Thriller, Palgrave.
http://www.detnovel.com/EarlyFemaleAuthors.html (Accessed 18 November 2009)
http://www.crimeculture.com/Contents/Hard-Boiled.html (Accessed 18 November 2009)
Knight, S. (2004) Crime Fiction 1800-2000. Basignstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Nyman, J. (1997) Men alone: masculinity, individualism, and hard-boiled fiction. Literary Criticism
Plain, G. (2001) Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction. Edinburgh Univ.
Priestman, M ed.(2003) Crime fiction. Cambridge Univ.
Willett, R. 92) Hard-boiled detective fiction.