Give the Piano Player a Drink

Down There
David Goodis

Vanity act that this space is, I do like to keep the reader in mind. Arguably, I fail miserably at that task for a simple reason that also explains my academic and career paths: I lack the ability to focus.

Oh, I can complete tasks, but in a world of enticing choices, I like to keep my options open. So, while I could Continue reading

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Fresh Pulp: How Popular Fiction Became Literature

Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 1940s
James M. Cain, Horace McCoy; Edward Anderson; Kenneth Fearing; William Lindsay Gresham; Cornell Woolrich

Here’s a recipe for creating literature: write to make a living (in other words, embrace the nakedly commercial), incorporate new things floating around the zeitgeist, ignore the professoriate and critics, sell to the movies, wait 50 years, put between hard covers and press. That, at the very least, is what the Library of America has done with 6 dime-store novels of the 30s and 40s that truly deserve to be part of our national literature.

“It was nothing but a roadside sandwich joint, like a million others in California.” That’s a very early Continue reading