Friday, October 17, 2008

Strange Mash-ups of the Literary Sort

Sometimes strange combinations set our brain on fire. Take for example, the new book by Leonard Cassuto, Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Fiction. Cassuto makes the argument here that the oh so manly cynical gumshoes of the past hundred years or so--Marlowe, Spade, Archer--can be traced back to the oh so quiet but angry women of the nineteenth century sentimental novel. Both, it seems, are in search of home and domesticity in a society that's failed them. Sarah Weinman has a nice look at the book over at the LA Times.

And in a very direct bit of hard-boiled sentimentality, check out an excerpt from "The Pooh Also Rises," by Alan Coren, a brilliant and, sadly deceased, humorist for the Times. As you might guess from the name, it's a mash-up of sorts between A.A. Milne's Pooh characters and the prose stylings of Ernest Hemingway.

‘Do you hear the guns?' said Pooh.

‘Yes,' said Piglet. ‘I hear the guns.'

Is your brain burning, yet?

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