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Hard-Boiled Fiction and Dark Romanticism

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Jopi Nyman

Since the 1920s the use of romantic features in the tough masculinist narratives of American hard-boiled fiction has often surprised its readers. Through an exploration of fiction written by four major hard-boiled writers (Ernest Hemingway, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and Horace McCoy), this study explains the genre's fascination with romance from a critical Cultural Studies perspective. It focuses not only on the use of the theme of the waste land and Gothic conventions, but also on the subversion of romance and its ideal hero. The study argues that the romanticism and pathos evident in the genre are antimodern and nostalgic yearnings for a lost world of true individualism and manhood.

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Acknowledgements 7 1. Introduction 9 2. Hard-Boiled Fiction and the Romantic Tradition 17 ,., Waste Lands 33 .). 4. Landscapes of Terror 79 5. Romance Subverted 109 6. Conclusion 133 Bibliography 137 This page intentionally left blank

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