Monday, December 21, 2009

Canadian Pulp Fiction

Borders has these.

Favorite title: Kiss Your Elbow.

UPDATE: The mystery guest who comments below is of course correct. Here's the key passage from the company blog linked above:

...our intention was to publish the stories in their original form. But once we immersed ourselves in the text, our eyes grew wide. Our jaws dropped. Social behavior—such as hitting a woman—that would be considered totally unacceptable now was quite common sixty years ago. Scenes of near rape would not sit well with a contemporary audience, we were quite convinced. We therefore decided to make small adjustments to the text, only in cases where we felt scenes or phrases would be offensive to a 2009 readership.
Cool move: demolish any credibility the reprints will have as cultural artifacts, in order to pander to a readership that won't be interested in them anyway. How much do they pay these people?

UPDATE: Harlequin is now taking some fairly serious flack in its comments section for bowdlerizing these reprints. Like to think HG played a small role.


JRSM said...

Unfortunately, they seem to have been rather bowdlerised: see

A shame, because I'm strongly tempted to buy them.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

There goes my purchase, then. I want to experience the real thing, warts and all...I don't want something that's been rewritten.

I went through a phase of buying, reading, and actually laughing at Archie comics, and I was disturbed to see the way they've altered their can always tell my the quality of the printing in the word balloons. They'll reprint a '50s strip about Archie mooning over a pop star, but clumsily insert "Britney Spears" all over the place.

It's even better (worse) when they draw iPods onto old comics and try to erase the turntables.

BTW, I've been fortunate to find some original pulp paperbacks from Toronto's past...strange to read about the city in that context and to realize how SMALL it used to be. I highly recommend Morley Callaghan's "Strange Fugitive," which is credited with being the original Toronto pulp, bootleggers and all. Apparently it (and others like it) were reactions against the "squeaky clean" image that Toronto was pushing at the time. Callaghan, being a reporter, probably couldn't stand the whitewash.

Generic said...

The Callaghan is a great tip, thanks.

My dad remembers those Canadian bootleggers from his childhood in my home state of Maine. A fair amount of their traffic into the States came through those majestic lakes and rivers. There are stories of perforated bodies washing ashore near vacation cabins. Bangor Noir?