Hardboiled

Hardboiled (or hard-boiled) fiction is a literary genre that shares some of its characters and settings with crime fiction (especially detective stories). The genre's typical protagonist is a detective who witnesses the violence of organized crime that flourished during Prohibition (1920–1933) and its aftermath, while dealing with a legal system that has become as corrupt as the organized crime itself.[1] Rendered cynical by this cycle of violence, the detectives of hardboiled fiction are often antiheroes. Notable hardboiled detectives include Philip Marlowe, Mike Hammer, Sam Spade, Lew Archer, and The Continental Op.

BlackMaskFalcon2
The cover of seminal hardboiled magazine Black Mask, September 1929, featuring part 1 of its serialization of The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett. Illustration of private eye Sam Spade by Henry C. Murphy, Jr

The genre's pioneers

The style was pioneered by Carroll John Daly in the mid-1920s,[2] popularized by Dashiell Hammett over the course of the decade, and refined by James M. Cain and by Raymond Chandler beginning in the late 1930s;[3] its heyday was in 1930s–50s America.[4]

Pulp fiction

Paolo Monti - Servizio fotografico - BEIC 6340857
Photo by Paolo Monti, 1975
Spicy-Adventure Stories November 1936
Femmes fatales were standard fare in hardboiled fiction.

From its earliest days, hardboiled fiction was published in and closely associated with so-called pulp magazines, most famously Black Mask under the editorship of Joseph T. Shaw.[3][5] In its earliest uses in the late 1920s, "hardboiled" did not refer to a type of crime fiction; it meant the tough (cynical) attitude towards emotions triggered by violence.

Hardboiled writing is also associated with "noir fiction". Eddie Duggan discusses the similarities and differences between the two related forms in his 1999 article on pulp writer par excellence, Cornell Woolrich.[6]

Pulp historian Robert Sampson argues that Gordon Young's "Don Everhard" stories (which appeared in Adventure magazine from 1917 onwards), about an "extremely tough, unsentimental, and lethal" gun-toting urban gambler, anticipated the hardboiled detective stories.[7]

Black Mask moved exclusively to publishing detective stories in 1933,[8] and pulp's exclusive reference to crime fiction probably became fixed around that time, although it's impossible to pin down with precision. The hardboiled crime story became a staple of several pulp magazines in the 1930s; in addition to Black Mask, hardboiled crime fiction appeared in Dime Detective and Detective Fiction Weekly.[9] Later, many hardboiled novels were published by houses specializing in paperback originals, also colloquially known as "pulps".

Consequently, "pulp fiction" is often used as a synonym for hardboiled crime fiction or gangster fiction;[10] some would distinguish within it the private-eye story from the crime novel itself.[11] In the United States, the original hardboiled style has been emulated by innumerable writers, including Sue Grafton, Chester Himes, Paul Levine, John D. MacDonald, Ross Macdonald, Jim Butcher, Walter Mosley, Sara Paretsky, Robert B. Parker, Mickey Spillane, and James Ellroy.

See also

References

  1. ^ Porter, Dennis (2003). "Chapter 6: The Private Eye". In Priestman, Martin. The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-0-521-00871-6.
  2. ^ Ousby, I (1995), "Black Mask", The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, p. 89.
  3. ^ a b Collins, Max Allan (1994), "The Hard-Boiled Detective", in de Andrea, William L, Encyclopedia Mysteriosa, MacMillan, pp. 153–4, ISBN 0-02-861678-2.
  4. ^ Abbott, Megan (2002), The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, pp. 2–3.
  5. ^ Budrys, Algis (October 1965). "Galaxy Bookshelf". Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 142–150.
  6. ^ Eddie Duggan (1999) 'Writing in the darkness: the world of Cornell Woolrich' CrimeTime 2.6 pp. 113–126.
  7. ^ "Extremely tough, unsentimental and lethal, Everhard foreshadowed the hard-boiled characters of the following decade". "Pulps" by Robert Sampson, in Encyclopedia Mysteriosa, edited by DeAndrea. (p.287-9).
  8. ^ Abbott, p. 16
  9. ^ "Pulps" by Sampson, in DeAndrea.
  10. ^ Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy (1957) p. 258
  11. ^ Abbott, p. 10-11

Further reading

External links

A Real Girl

A Real Girl is a 1929 American silent film directed by Ralph Ince and starring Sally O'Neil, Donald Reed and Lilyan Tashman. It is also known by the alternative title of Hardboiled.

Boiled egg

Boiled eggs are eggs, typically from a chicken, cooked with their shells unbroken, usually by immersion in boiling water. Hard-boiled eggs are cooked so that the egg white and egg yolk both solidify, while soft-boiled eggs may leave the yolk, and sometimes the white, at least partially liquid and raw. Boiled eggs are a popular breakfast food around the world.

Besides a boiling water immersion, there are a few different methods to make boiled eggs. Eggs can also be cooked below the boiling temperature, i.e. coddling, or they can be steamed. The egg timer was named for commonly being used to time the boiling of eggs.

Egg! Egg! A Hardboiled Story

Egg! Egg! A Hardboiled Story (Swedish: Ägget är löst!, alternative title The Softening of the Egg) is a 1975 Swedish black comedy film directed by Hans Alfredson, starring Gösta Ekman, Max von Sydow and Birgitta Andersson. Alfredson won the award for Best Director at the 11th Guldbagge Awards.

Hard Boiled Haggerty

Don Stansauk (April 2, 1925 – January 27, 2004) was an American professional wrestler and actor, known by his ring name, Hard Boiled Haggerty. He was previously a professional American football player, and became a successful character actor after his wrestling career.

Hardboiled Rose

Hardboiled Rose is a 1929 American part-talkie romantic drama film directed by F. Harmon Weight and released by Warner Bros. It starred Myrna Loy, William Collier, Jr., and John Miljan.

Mystery fiction

Mystery fiction is a genre of fiction usually involving a mysterious death or a crime to be solved. Often with a closed circle of suspects, each suspect is usually provided with a credible motive and a reasonable opportunity for committing the crime. The central character oftentimes will be a detective who eventually solves the mystery by logical deduction from facts presented to the reader. Sometimes mystery books are nonfictional. "Mystery fiction" can be detective stories in which the emphasis is on the puzzle or suspense element and its logical solution such as a whodunit. Mystery fiction can be contrasted with hardboiled detective stories, which focus on action and gritty realism.

Mystery fiction may involve a supernatural mystery where the solution does not have to be logical, and even no crime involved. This usage was common in the pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s, where titles such as Dime Mystery, Thrilling Mystery and Spicy Mystery offered what at the time were described as "weird menace" stories—supernatural horror in the vein of Grand Guignol. This contrasted with parallel titles of the same names which contained conventional hardboiled crime fiction. The first use of "mystery" in this sense was by Dime Mystery, which started out as an ordinary crime fiction magazine but switched to "weird menace" during the later part of 1933.

Noir fiction

Noir fiction (or roman noir) is a literary genre closely related to hardboiled genre, with a distinction that the protagonist is not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator. Other common characteristics include a self-destructive protagonist. A typical protagonist of noir fiction is dealing with the legal, political or other system, which is no less corrupt than the perpetrator, by whom the protagonist is either victimized and/or has to victimize others on a daily basis, leading to a lose-lose situation.

Operation Hardboiled

Operation Hardboiled was a Second World War military deception. Undertaken by the Allies in 1942, it was the first attempt at deception by the London Controlling Section (LCS) and was designed to convince the Axis powers that the Allies would soon invade German-occupied Norway. The LCS had recently been established to plan deception across all theatres, but had struggled for support from the unenthusiastic military establishment. The LCS had little guidance in strategic deception, an activity pioneered by Dudley Clarke the previous year, and was unaware of the extensive double agent system controlled by MI5. As a result, Hardboiled was planned as a real operation rather than a fictional one. Clarke had already found this approach to be wasteful in time and resources, preferring to present a "story" using agents and wireless traffic.

Resistance to the operation by the chosen units meant that much of the preparation was not completed. Adolf Hitler ordered the reinforcement of Scandinavia in March and April 1942, before Hardboiled was shelved in May. It is unclear to what extent the operation contributed to his decision. Despite its limited impact, the operation gave the LCS experience in planning deceptions, and laid the groundwork for future exploitation of Hitler's belief that Northern Europe was strategically important.

Ovosodo

Ovosodo (from Ovosodo, a quarter in the historic center of Livorno, the city where the story takes place), also known as Hardboiled Egg, is a 1997 Italian comedy film, written and directed by Paolo Virzì.

Playback (novel)

Playback is a novel by Raymond Chandler, featuring the private detective Philip Marlowe. It was first published in Britain in July 1958; the US edition followed in October that year. Chandler died the following year; Playback is his last completed novel.

Poodle Springs

Poodle Springs is the eighth Philip Marlowe novel. It was started in 1958 by Raymond Chandler, who left it unfinished at his death in 1959. The four chapters he had completed, which bore the working title The Poodle Springs Story, were subsequently published in Raymond Chandler Speaking (1962), a collection of excerpts from letters and unpublished writings. In 1988, on the occasion of the centenary of Chandler's birth, the crime writer Robert B. Parker was asked by the estate of Raymond Chandler to complete the novel.

Quail eggs

Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, including Asia, Europe, and North America. In Japanese cuisine, they are sometimes used raw or cooked as tamago in sushi and often found in bento lunches.

In some other countries, quail eggs are considered less exotic. In Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, a single hard-boiled quail egg is a common topping on hot dogs and hamburgers, often fixed into place with a toothpick. In the Philippines, kwek-kwek is a popular street food delicacy, which consists of soft-boiled quail eggs dipped in orange-colored batter before being skewered and deep-fried. In Indonesia, small packages of hardboiled quail eggs are sold by street vendors as snacks, and skewered quail eggs are sold as satay to accompany main dishes such as soto and bubur ayam. In Vietnam, bags of boiled quail eggs are sold on street stalls as inexpensive beer snacks. In South Korea, large inexpensive bags of boiled quail eggs are sold in grocery stores.

Red Harvest

Red Harvest (1929) is a novel by Dashiell Hammett. The story is narrated by the Continental Op, a frequent character in Hammett's fiction, much of which is drawn from his own experiences as an operative of the Pinkerton Detective Agency (fictionalized as the Continental Detective Agency). The labor dispute in the novel was inspired by Butte's Anaconda Road massacre.Time included Red Harvest in its 100 Best English-Language Novels from 1923 to 2005. The Nobel Prize-winning author André Gide called the book "a remarkable achievement, the last word in atrocity, cynicism, and horror."

The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep (1939) is a hardboiled crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first to feature the detective Philip Marlowe. It has been adapted for film twice, in 1946 and again in 1978. The story is set in Los Angeles.

The story is noted for its complexity, with characters double-crossing one another and secrets being exposed throughout the narrative. The title is a euphemism for death; it refers to a rumination about "sleeping the big sleep" in the final pages of the book.

In 1999, the book was voted 96th of Le Monde's "100 Books of the Century". In 2005, it was included in Time magazine's "List of the 100 Best Novels".

The High Window

The High Window is a 1942 novel written by Raymond Chandler. It is his third novel featuring the Los Angeles private detective Philip Marlowe.

The Maltese Falcon (novel)

The Maltese Falcon is a 1930 detective novel by American writer Dashiell Hammett, originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask beginning with the September 1929 issue. The story is told entirely in external third-person narrative; there is no description whatever of any character's internal thoughts or feelings, only what they say and do, and how they look. The novel has been adapted several times for the cinema.

The main character, Sam Spade (who also appeared later in some lesser-known short stories), was a departure from Hammett's nameless detective, The Continental Op. Spade combined several features of previous detectives, notably his cold detachment, keen eye for detail, unflinching, sometimes ruthless, determination to achieve his own form of justice, and a complete lack of sentimentality.

The Thin Man

The Thin Man (1934) is a detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, originally published in the December 1933 issue of Redbook. It appeared in book form the following month.

Hammett never wrote a sequel but the book became the basis for a successful six-part film series, which also began in 1934 with The Thin Man and starred William Powell and Myrna Loy. The Thin Man television series aired on NBC from 1957-59, and starred Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk .In 1999, Knopf published a collection of Hammett's early works, including an early draft of The Thin Man. While some story elements were used in one of the sequel movies, this early draft is very different from the final published novel.Although Hammett lived until 1961, The Thin Man was his last published novel. Lillian Hellman, in an introduction to a compilation of Hammett's five novels, contemplated several explanations for Hammett's retirement as a novelist,

I have been asked many times over the years why he did not write another novel after The Thin Man. I do not know. I think, but I only think, I know a few of the reasons: he wanted to do a new kind of work; he was sick for many of those years and getting sicker. But he kept his work, and his plans for work, in angry privacy and even I would not have been answered if I had ever asked, and maybe because I never asked is why I was with him until the last day of his life.

Following the success of the movie version of The Thin Man in 1934, Hammett was commissioned to work on screenplays for sequels. During the course of this work, he wrote After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man, which, discovered amongst Hammett's papers in 2011, together with instructions by Hammett for incorporation of additional elements written by screenwriters Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, were edited by Hammett's biographer Richard Layman in collaboration with Hammett's granddaughter Julie M. Rivett and published as novellas in Return of the Thin Man in 2012.

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