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Hard-Boiled Fiction and Dark Romanticism


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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t: Q) ~ ta .J: u "' t: Q) "' "' -J... ~ J... Q) .J: u "' ·-:ra a. 0 J... :::l w Heinz lckstadt (Ed.) Crossing Borders Inner- and Intercultural Exchanges in a Multicultural Society Frankfurt!M., Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris, Wien, 1997. 175 pp, 13 fig. ISBN 3-631-30310-6 pb. DM 59.-* US-ISBN 0-8204-3186-9 This collection of essays by French and German scholars of American Studies addresses issues of real or metaphorical transgressions of boundaries in American literature, culture, and society. It is thus predominantly focussed on texts and topics of racial mixing and cultural hybridization in American and African-American, Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Canadian literature. Yet some of the essays take the issue further by probing into the ethical implications of boundary crossing in such areas as medicine and advertisement. The book is thus based on the assumption that in a society for which transgression increasingly becomes a matter of cultural identity, the problems of boundary crossing encompass all areas and aspects of its existence. Contents: Heinz lckstadt: Masks, Role Play, and Transgression- Crossing Boundaries as Topos and Strategy in American Literary Modernism · Christa Buschendorf: White Masks: Greek Mythology in Contemporary Black Poetry · Michel Fabre: Multicultural Roots in Contemporary Louisiana Creole Poetry· Liliane Kerjan: Bioethics and Jurisprudence: Crossing the Boundaries of Cultural Freedom · Berndt Ostendorf: From Marx to Madonna: The Erotic Tease of the Commodities (Variations on the Theme of AIDA) Frankfurt/M Berlin Bern New York Paris W1en Distribution: Verlag Peter Lang AG Jup1terstr. 15, CH-3000 Bern...

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