Thursday, September 03, 2009

Revisiting the Past

If you haven’t already happened upon it, you’ll want to check out a fine new Pulp Serenade interview with Greg Shepard, the head editor and publisher at Stark House Press, which is known for bringing classic crime fiction--by Harry Whittington, Gil Brewer, and others--out of the dusty closets and back into print. One of my favorite parts of the piece is this exchange between blogger Cullen Gallagher and Shepard:
PS: Since you specialize in pulp literature, where do you think its importance lies? Why are they continuing to survive and impact readers, when they were initially thought to be ephemeral, disposable books?

GS: For me the importance begins in the stripped-down simplicity of the story. Within that framework, there are so many marvelously unique voices--[Jim] Thompson, [David] Goodis, [Horace] McCoy, [W.R.] Burnett, [Charles] Williams, [Peter] Rabe, Brewer, Packer, [Charles] Willeford, [James Hadley] Chase, [John D.] MacDonald, [Cornell] Woolrich, etc.--each with their own story to tell. And in revisiting these “disposable” books, we get to relive and experience the mores of another era, which by its very distance seems like a simpler, less complicated time--and that, too, has its appeal. But first and foremost, these are all great writers who continue to impact because of the quality of their work.
Again, the full piece can be found here.

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