Selected Magazine Articles
Obviously, there have been a million articles out there about this l'il genre of ours.
But these are some I felt are really worth reading. (As you can see, I'm just starting this list -- any contributions would be appreciated).
- "Somewhere a Roscoe" " by S.J. Perelman
(October15, 1938, The New Yorker)
The humourist's affectionate tribute to pulpster Robert Leslie Bellem and his greatest creation, Hollywood orb, Dan Turner.
- "The Simple Art of Murder" by Raymond Chandler
(November 1945, The Atlantic Monthly)
Arguably the most famous piece of criticism about crime and detective fiction ever. Everyone rise and repeat after me "Down these mean streets a man must go..."
- "The Bloody Pulps" by Charles Beaumont
(September 1962, Playboy)
Nice nostaglia piece on the pulps. Not very P.I.-oriented, but still entertaining.
- "The Hard-Boiled Go To Brunch" by Charles Nicol
(October 1987, Harper's Magazine)
Overview and analysis of the genre, circa 1987.
- "Watching the Detective" by Terrence Rafferty
(June 1998, GQ)
The sub-head reads, "The literary genre that started as a kind of morbid crossword puzzle became the privileged turf of the private eye. Now, gorier, ghostlier and more neurotic than ever, the mystery novel's something else again." It's a pretty good article, with enough meat in it to spark a half-dozen or so arguments, not the least of which is the assertion that today's private eyes "feel like nostalgic diehards, worn down by the strain of keeping the Chandler faith alive...as a compelling myth, the private eye is history." Rafferty also discusses Mosley, Lawrence Block, Timothy Harris, James Lee Burke, Frank Miller (?) and Carroll O'Connell, among others. I don't agree with everything he says, but his arguments are well-presented, and he has certainly given us some food for thought.
- "The Return of the Private Eye" by Dick Lochte
(March 2000, Playboy)
Entertaining overview of the genre, with Dick's usual dead-on vision, and several intriguing lists. Some great pictures, too. That Nicole is something...
- "Crime Fiction: A Litany of Very Private Eyes" by Tim Murphy
(April 2002, Paperback Parade #57)
A great list of mostly obscure, mostly PBO eyes from the fifties and early sixties..
- "Criminal Conversations"
(Winter 2002, The Paris Review #164)
At-times fascinating and revealing round table discussion with numerous crits writers. The Brits apparently love Chandler more than Americans do. And Ed McBain and Elmore Leonard try to distance themselves from him.
- "Why Crime Pays" by Matt Lewis
(March/April 2003, Pages)
Crime pays. But does it pay enough?
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