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Re: Unpleasant Detectives (was: 'The Thinking Machine' (1907)

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  • Allan Griffith
    ... I liked Professor Van Dusen, but then I m also inordinately fond of Philo Vance. Al
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 7, 2012
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      On 7 November 2012 08:10, <GAdetection@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      > Posted by: "bobhouk@..." bobhouk@... bobhouk
      > Date: Tue Nov 6, 2012 1:29 am ((PST))
      >
      > I have read a collection of these stories and found them to be OK. The plots are quite improbable, of course, which seems to have been common in the era, but that's not a big hurdle for me. A Carr fan can't complain much about improbable plots.
      >
      > My biggest objection is the personality of Professor Van Dusen, who is drawn (apparently deliberately) as arrogant, sarcastic, condescending, and thoroughly unlikeable. Not quite as obnoxious as Philo Vance, but in the ballpark with him.

      I liked Professor Van Dusen, but then I'm also inordinately fond of Philo Vance.

      Al
    • Xavier Lechard
      I m not sure whether early detectives were meant to be pleasant or likeable . Authors intended their sleuths to be admired but not necessarily liked. Holmes
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 7, 2012
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        I'm not sure whether early detectives were meant to be "pleasant" or
        "likeable". Authors intended their sleuths to be admired but not
        necessarily liked. Holmes for instance is not an immediately sympathetic
        figure. There was a sense back then that a detective's appeal laid in his
        brains, not his humanity - quite the opposite of what we're seeing today.

        Friendly,
        Xavier

        >
        >
        e stories and found them to be OK. The plots are quite improbable, of
        course, which seems to have been common in the era, but that's not a big
        hurdle for me. A Carr fan can't complain much about improbable plots.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • bobhouk@yahoo.com
        Authors intended their sleuths to be admired but not necessarily liked ... There was a sense back then that a detective s appeal laid in his brains ... I think
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 7, 2012
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          Authors intended their sleuths to be admired but not necessarily liked ... There was a sense back then that a detective's appeal laid in his brains ...

          I think that's a good point, Xavier -- and it would I guess be part of the mass imitation of Holmes. Though I don't find Holmes anywhere near as off-putting as Van Dusen or Vance, he can hardly be described as highly likeable.

          Perhaps part of what I like about the Golden Age is that a balance was reached by many of the best practitioners -- detectives like Poirot, Merrivale, and Fen (as examples) manage to be both highly intelligent and likeable.

          But obviously, this is highly subjective -- Al even likes Philo Vance. 

          Bob

          --- On Wed, 11/7/12, Xavier Lechard <lechardxavier@...> wrote:

          From: Xavier Lechard <lechardxavier@...>
          Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Re: Unpleasant Detectives (was: 'The Thinking Machine' (1907)
          To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 6:05 AM
















           









          I'm not sure whether early detectives were meant to be "pleasant" or

          "likeable". Authors intended their sleuths to be admired but not

          necessarily liked. Holmes for instance is not an immediately sympathetic

          figure. There was a sense back then that a detective's appeal laid in his

          brains, not his humanity - quite the opposite of what we're seeing today.



          Friendly,

          Xavier



          >

          >

          e stories and found them to be OK. The plots are quite improbable, of

          course, which seems to have been common in the era, but that's not a big

          hurdle for me. A Carr fan can't complain much about improbable plots.



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



























          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jeffrey Marks
          I m even fond of Dover and The Fat Man. What s to be done with me? jeff -- Jeffrey Marks www.jeffreymarks.com Check out my website for news about my books and
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 8, 2012
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            I'm even fond of Dover and The Fat Man. What's to be done with me?

            jeff

            --
            Jeffrey Marks
            www.jeffreymarks.com
            Check out my website for news about my books and marketing tips of the month
            Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s
            Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: The Queen of the Screwball Mystery
            Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography -- 2009 Anthony winner
          • Robert
            Jeff, I love the Dover stories (especially the short stories). Maybe I put up with his unlikeability because the stories are usually hilarious. If Porter
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 8, 2012
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              Jeff,

              I love the Dover stories (especially the short stories). Maybe I put up with his "unlikeability" because the stories are usually hilarious. If Porter wrote the Dover stories without the humor, I don't think I could read many of them.

              Bob

              --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, Jeffrey Marks <jeffrmarks@...> wrote:
              >
              > I'm even fond of Dover and The Fat Man. What's to be done with me?
              >
              > jeff
              >
              > --
              > Jeffrey Marks
              > www.jeffreymarks.com
              > Check out my website for news about my books and marketing tips of the month
              > Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s
              > Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: The Queen of the Screwball Mystery
              > Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography -- 2009 Anthony winner
              >
            • curt evans
              Most of the Dovers are good ratiocinative detective novels too. Curt From: Robert Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 5:31 PM To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 9, 2012
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                Most of the Dovers are good ratiocinative detective novels too.

                Curt

                From: Robert
                Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 5:31 PM
                To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [GAdetection] Re: Unpleasant Detectives (was: 'The Thinking Machine' (1907)


                Jeff,

                I love the Dover stories (especially the short stories). Maybe I put up with his "unlikeability" because the stories are usually hilarious. If Porter wrote the Dover stories without the humor, I don't think I could read many of them.

                Bob

                --- In mailto:GAdetection%40yahoogroups.com, Jeffrey Marks <jeffrmarks@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm even fond of Dover and The Fat Man. What's to be done with me?
                >
                > jeff
                >
                > --
                > Jeffrey Marks
                > www.jeffreymarks.com
                > Check out my website for news about my books and marketing tips of the month
                > Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s
                > Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: The Queen of the Screwball Mystery
                > Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography -- 2009 Anthony winner
                >





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Mr Molesack
                We can vicariously enjoy seeing someone ignoring all of the social niceties, because most of spend all of our time obeying them. One of the incidental
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 9, 2012
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                  We can vicariously enjoy seeing someone ignoring all of the social niceties, because most of spend all of our time obeying them. One of the incidental pleasures of, for instance, Rex Stout's stories is to see Wolfe be rude to the rich and powerful.

                  --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <speedymystery@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Jeff,
                  >
                  > I love the Dover stories (especially the short stories). Maybe I put up with his "unlikeability" because the stories are usually hilarious. If Porter wrote the Dover stories without the humor, I don't think I could read many of them.
                  >
                  > Bob
                  >
                  > --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, Jeffrey Marks <jeffrmarks@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I'm even fond of Dover and The Fat Man. What's to be done with me?
                  > >
                  > > jeff
                  > >
                  > > --
                  > > Jeffrey Marks
                  > > www.jeffreymarks.com
                  > > Check out my website for news about my books and marketing tips of the month
                  > > Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s
                  > > Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: The Queen of the Screwball Mystery
                  > > Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography -- 2009 Anthony winner
                  > >
                  >
                • curt evans
                  And I enjoy seeing Archie being rude to Nero! Curt From: Mr Molesack Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 2:45 PM To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com Subject:
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 9, 2012
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                    And I enjoy seeing Archie being rude to Nero!

                    Curt

                    From: Mr Molesack
                    Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 2:45 PM
                    To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [GAdetection] Re: Unpleasant Detectives (was: 'The Thinking Machine' (1907)


                    We can vicariously enjoy seeing someone ignoring all of the social niceties, because most of spend all of our time obeying them. One of the incidental pleasures of, for instance, Rex Stout's stories is to see Wolfe be rude to the rich and powerful.

                    --- In mailto:GAdetection%40yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <speedymystery@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Jeff,
                    >
                    > I love the Dover stories (especially the short stories). Maybe I put up with his "unlikeability" because the stories are usually hilarious. If Porter wrote the Dover stories without the humor, I don't think I could read many of them.
                    >
                    > Bob
                    >
                    > --- In mailto:GAdetection%40yahoogroups.com, Jeffrey Marks <jeffrmarks@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I'm even fond of Dover and The Fat Man. What's to be done with me?
                    > >
                    > > jeff
                    > >
                    > > --
                    > > Jeffrey Marks
                    > > www.jeffreymarks.com
                    > > Check out my website for news about my books and marketing tips of the month
                    > > Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s
                    > > Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: The Queen of the Screwball Mystery
                    > > Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography -- 2009 Anthony winner
                    > >
                    >





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