A requiem for Pulp and High culture

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“Any requiem for pulp culture,” Clive Bloom writes, “will inevitably also be the requiem for the old high literary culture that defined itself as its implacable enemy. Both required the conjunction of market forces (that is, commercialism), media cross-fertilization (especially with film and newspapers) and the need for a canon of taste using contemporary literary production as its benchmark. If serious fiction used mimesis for revelatory truth, so pulp used it for entertainment. Indeed, pulp turned information into entertainment for the urban, literate and democratic masses.

In the age of Hollywood, it was the movie that acted as the defining medium for the world of literature (just as much as any tradition of high art), for writers engaged in representing the modern world. The magnetic grip of Hollywood and its inability to accommodate great writers is well documented; what is less obvious is how commercial movie-making influenced writing per se. It was the movies as form that transfixed and fascinated not merely movie audiences but writers of all types and levels. Just as the camera had challenged painting, so Hollywood challenged writing; the advent of television did not affect writing as Hollywood did and continues to do. Indeed, television is a side issue in terms of the formal changes and challenges brought about by the studio system, the moving image and the star system. Moreover, it is instructive to note that during the 1920s that golden age of the pulp magazine as well as the height of modernistic experimentation, Hollywood’s influence can be felt as a guiding principle. By comparing the work of two writers who occupy different and supposedly opposite sides of the cultural divide one can usefully see how movie-making affected literary form.

Both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dashiell Hammett were drawn to Hollywood, could not reconcile their art nor their affections with its culture and suffered as a consequence. Both were involved with and affected by the concept of a script. ….” (221)

Ref: (italics in original) Clive Bloom (1996) Cult Fiction: Popular reading and pulp theory. Macmillan Press Ltd: London

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Literary canon, educational practice and the allowable limits of debate

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“…the creation of a modern canon coincided with the appearance first of a protean new print medium based on industrial production, intensive capital investment and monopolistic practices (themselves parasitically preying on entrepreneurial inventiveness), which gave way to a gurther information explosion with the appearance of photography, cinema, radio and television vertically and horizontally integrated into the previous print culture.” (p.39)

“The denial of legitimacy to certain forms of publishing, authorship, subject matter and reading practice left reading habits little changed in reality – what changed was educational practice and the allowable limits of debate.” (p.40)

Ref: (italics in original) Clive Bloom (1996) Cult Fiction: Popular reading and pulp theory. Macmillan Press Ltd: London

Victorian modernity and Victorian literary publishing

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Clive Bloom explains: “If the railway is at the centre of Victorian modernity then the aeroplane is a consequence of the restlessness of that century: much of the modern world having come into being in the last century is still around us and still part of our daily lives – refined, perhaps, perhaps disguised. Indeed, it may be argued that the uprisings of 1968 were the last moment of a Victorian belief in radical change, psychological and existential longing and a socialist and Marxist dialectic based upon Germanic idealism and a belief in liberation through struggle. This takes us to the heart of the matter – the Victorian age was an age dominated by the radical disestablishment of an older sensibility and a continuing revolution in another and newer sensibility which lasted until 1968.

Through looking at Victorian literary publishing, purchasing and reading habits we can see the appearance of a new literary sensibility produced by, and a consequence of, market forces and commodity production. Here the book is both product and work of art, decided both by unit cost and critical taste, an object of purchase and a process of reading. Books were not new, fiction was not new, what was new was the emergence of new fictions, new types of books and a new reading public. The novel and short story (the tale), poem and journalistic essay were the creation and driving force behind new ways of perceiving in a literate democracy.

In this way, a new information industry emerged which coincided with the world of entertainment, bringing with it new forms of professionalism (authors and publishers), new distributive networks [-p.50] (Smith and Mudie) and new forms of presentation (part publications, three-deckers, serials). The power of widening literacy and the emergent market-driven literary world created a demand for new forms of expression and therefore new forms of content – the woman’s question and the demands of women readers created the content of many works whose structure was designed to optimize the potential sales from new areas of representation. New readers were found as the forms developed to make visible otherwise invisible subject areas (the genres of horror, detective or science fiction). Forms and contents, authors and publishers, readers and markets emerged together to create the literature of the nineteenth century.” (pp.49-50)

“Victorian literature was conditioned by exploration and uncertainty. / Novelty dominated Victorian literature; the literary arts were firmly rooted in, indeed one condition of, the Victorian entrepreneurial business spirit. To talk of Victorian literature is, as the Victorians well knew, to fantasize about a stable entity and therein a set of fictitious stable values. Victorian literature was conditioned by doubt (the gamble of the market) and was determined by doubt (the moral dimension of the narrative). Furthermore, its shape was also determined by doubt. …The growth of Victorian reading and the extraordinary momentum of the publishing machine were the uncontrollable virus of Victorian liberal democracy.” (p.50)

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the concept of a vast reading public and a publishing industry would have been little more than a dream to contemporaries: relatively few published books existed; fewer were published each year; fiction was rare and read by only a few; libraries were even rarer and expensive; distribution was virtually impossible while travel was dominated by poor roads; publishing houses were still mainly printers; authors, as yet mainly unrecognized, were undervalued and disorganized.

By the third quarter of the century this situation had completely changed. New printing techniques emerged as publishing houses grew in size and sloughed off their old printing associations while incorporating new business attitudes. Marketing and distribution became possible with the appearance of trains, railway bookshops, library purchase and the ubiquitous bagmen; passengers could now read in a train compartment whereas before the coach was simply too shaky. Added to this, the power of authorship had grown, allowing some to grow rich in the trade because of the vast increase in the consumption of fiction and newsprint encouraged by and part of a new mass literacy. This also spawned new markets especially in children’s literature and magazines for adults. As markets grew they split and created specialist genres both in fiction and in the appearance of hobby or sport journals.” (p.51)

Publishers had since the late eighteenth century been reorganizing their business in such a way that they may be taken as the first great appearance of the capitalistic method of production.” (p.53)

Bloom cites John Feather: “The British book trade in the nineteenth century was a modern industry in every way. It took advantage of mechanised systems of production, developed highly efficient distribution arrangements based on the most up-to-date means of transport, and evolved a division of labour both between and within its various branches. Many firms were still family businesses, but they were large and well-organised, and many of their owners were employers of labour on a substantial scale. Millions of pounds of capital investment poured into the trade, much of it generated directly from profit. It was inevitable that attitudes within the industry also underwent a profound change. The parochialism of the battle for literary property and the restrictive practices of the congers and the trade sales vanished into history; the trade was in the marketplace, and the first consideration was economic success in the face of competition.” (John Feather cited, Bloom, p.57)

Bloom again… “By the end of the nineteenth century almost all of Britain’s workforce could read …and by the 1840s Britain was already a ‘print-dependent society’.” (p.59)

Ref: (italics in original) Clive Bloom (1996) Cult Fiction: Popular reading and pulp theory. Macmillan Press Ltd: London    [reference is made to: John Feather, A History of British Publishing (London: Routledge, 1988), p.137]

Relevant? : Print and Print Culture in the Victorian Age

Jack the Ripper: legend and literacy 2

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As I mentioned, I really enjoyed Clive Bloom’s chapter on Jack the Ripper in his Cult FictionAfter describing “the rapid dissemination of the Ripper legend and its endurance in popular publishing,” (p.167) he considers “the constellation of possibilities around which this publishing industry revolved and upon which the legend was built.” (p.167) He writes:

“It is obvious that any legend requires a small and possibly spectacular fact to unleash a great deal of ‘fiction’. Before turning to the legend as a type of ‘fictional’ genre it is necessary to consider the Ripper legend as revolving around (a) a series of bizarre and ferocious crimes, (b) an impotent and mocked authority (the Criminal Investigation Department being left totally in the dark and being criticized from Windsor), (c) a mysterious and unapprehended felon, and (d) the power of fiction and the use of the human sciences.

The murders of autumn 1888 allowed for the appearance of a new urban dweller, a dweller on the limits of society and yet fully integrated into it – the homicidal maniac, the psychopathic killer. Unlike de Sade, the psychopath is always in desguise; his intentions and his secret actions are on another plain from his social responsibilities. Consequently, the psychopath delineates that absolute psychological and mental ‘deterioration’ that Kraepelin had considered as a form of dementia praecox and that was not defined as schizophrenia until 1911. The Ripper, however, was seen as split not merely in personality but in morality as well.” (p.167) [Bloom goes on to consider Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in some depth]

“As with Jekyll and Hyde so Jack the Ripper too was seen as an inhuman, if not non-human, monster who combined possible middle-class respectability (a doctor or a surgeon) with lower-working-class savagery (an immigrant, ‘Leather-Apron’, a mad butcher). The Ripper united both classes inasmuch as he was excluded by his acts from both ( just as were his victims). The Ripper was both a technician (a post-mortem surgeon, a doctor, a butcher) and an insane lunatic (incapable of finesse). He was supposedly at once able to focus his aggression in anatomical detail and yet unable to curb its force. Thus, the forensic nature of the Ripper’s ‘work’ (his ‘job’) provided a focal point for popular fears and prejudices against those professions dealing in the limits of the ‘decent’ (psychologists, doctors, post-mortem surgeons, forensic experts). The Ripper’s supposed anatomical expertise suggested all sorts of horrible possibillities about the life of the ‘expert’ and the specialist. His ability with a knife united him to the very professionals paid to track him down!

Like Hyde, he was the alter ego of the police force and the letters clearly demonstrate him showing off his expertise to them and the vigilante forces operating in Whitechapel. Later his dual nature as criminal and enforcer-of-law became explicit when reports of his deerstalker gave one attribute to the occupier of 221b Baker Street, whose business was forensic science, whose other real-life model was a surgeon and whose friend was a doctor.” (p.170) 

“Thus the Ripper was not merely a murderer but the catalyst for a series of psychological and social reactions. He combined the supposed popular idea of the expert as well as the darker side of the madman, lunatic, animal degenerate. As a median point between middle-class respectability and a debased Darwinian proletariat, the Ripper became the invisible man…. The Ripper’s letters acknowledge the pretence of cockney patois while pointing directly toward a middle-class author – but the author of what: a letter or the murders?” (p.171)

“…we have seen that the combination of popular prejudice and fiction produced a character and a rationale for the Ripper qua murderer and respectable member of society. His split nature (if such it was or presumably had to be) was completed by the hypocrisy concerning the very people he killed (the ‘Magdalens’). For these people were themselves invisible, acting as a certain outlet and limit to urban society. The psychopath and the prostitute were two ends of a society that refused to acknowledge their presence. Invisibly, they provided their services on the edge of the rational, morally degenerate as both supposedly were.

Yet Jack the Ripper’s threat is one that spills back into ‘ordinary’ society and threatens that society. In the period when the legend of ‘the Ripper’ begins, the psychopath becomes an urban reality but as a character-type is not quite part of a mental spectrum and yet is not fully freed from being a theological problem either. Jack combines notions of evil, insanity and moral justice at the moment when the nineteenth century saw itself as the century of progress, enlightenment and escape from ‘moral’ prejudice. The Ripper’s name denotes a certain consequent frontier for the human sciences at this time.” (p.171)

In the eighteenth century executions became a ritual in which the ‘main character was the people, whose …presence was required for the performance’.  By Jack’s time public execution was long since over, but Jack took on the symbolic weight of a ‘higher’ justice operating beyond the arm of the law, exposing and cutting out the cancer of sexual commerce. His role was acknowledged in his instant fame and his ferocity in his attack on the condemned: the prostitute class. It appears that Jack represented the return of a social memory of the proximity of death (by violence, cholera, starvation) now distanced by the work of social and medical reformers.

In that latter half of the industrialized nineteenth century ceremonies about the integration of death had long ceased to be necessary. In a sense the body had gained utility value but lost its ‘sacred’ humanness (its ‘mystery’ that early Christians feared). Jack represents the unconscious of that society – a repression not yet exorcized; he forcibly reminded society (unable to speak of bodies without blushing) of the crudest function of that mass of organs. Jack clearly unites ideas about the mortification of the flesh and the technology that manipulates the body (the human sciences: biology, psychology, forensic science, medicine). One end of the spectrum acknowledges desire for and the power of the flesh while the other denies both and reduces the body to a mass of functions and utilities: an automaton. The body hence becomes ironically ‘sacred’ (as an object in religious devotion to be escaped from) and yet also machinic.” (p.173)

“Jack is demon/animal and therefore totally other, therefore unrecognizable (invisible), therefore the perfect criminal. He disturbs the human only to reinforce it. Indeed, this monstrosity embeds himself in the imagination of each generation that needs his presence. For that reason alone there is a smile on the face of the Ripper.

The historical details of the Whitechapel Murders are nothing less than the facets of a scenario for a script about modernity itself. Reworked in fiction and film as well as the focus for true crime books (of the solve-it-yourself variety), the Ripper’s deeds are ever reworked to remain forever contemporary, and thus curiously emphasized by layers of nostalgia. The Ripper’s script has violence, eroticism, sentimentality, and the supernatural: a text to live out the sensationalism of the modern.” (p.177)

Ref: (italics in original) Clive Bloom (1996) Cult Fiction: Popular reading and pulp theory. Macmillan Press Ltd: London

Jack the Ripper: legend and literacy

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Reading Clive Bloom’s Cult Fiction, I particularly enjoyed Chapter 8 The Ripper Writing: A Cream of a Nightmare Dream…

“Jack of Hearts, Jack O’Lantern, Jack the Giant-Killer, Jack the lad, Jack Sheppard and Springheeled Jack; ‘Jack’, a common name that represents ubiquity: the nomenclature of the ordinary. In the late nineteenth century as for us in the late twentieth there was only one Jack – the Ripper; of the famous nineteenth-century criminals this one alone has endured into legend. Of Charlie Peace, Neill Cream or Israel Lipski little is remembered; of other famous murders only the victim is recalled: Maria Marten offering herself to melodrama and Fanny Adams to a coarse joke. Jack survives, but not merely because he was not caught.

This chapter is an attempt to consider the determinants and the progress of the Ripper legend as both text and history and to consider the constellation of historico-psychological notions that have gathered around the name of the Ripper.

Jack, it seems, timed his murders at a correct psychological moment, for almost immediately, not least for their ferocity, his deeds became the stuff of legend. He instantly became both a particular and a general threat, a focus for numerous related fears among metropolitan dwellers across Europe and America. …Already, only one month after the murders had ceased, Jack [had] an international ‘appeal’.” (p.159)

Reporting on his murders mixed xenophobia, humour, political and religious fear, with sensation and sexual innuendo, Bloom explains, resulting in a peculiar relationship between the Ripper and the reading public.

“…even during the season of the killings in the autumn of 1888, papers quickly realized the value of Jack’s exploits, conducting their own post-mortems and reporting coroner’s verdicts at length. The Times, for instance, ran articles in its Weekly Edition from September 1888 to November 1888. On 28 September 1888 it gave a full page to the social background of Spitalfields and the poverty endured there by Annie Chapman, the Ripper’s first victim. The Times was quick to guess the direction in which police might look. They thought a post-mortem surgeon’s assistant might be the culprit because of ‘his’ specialized knowledge of the uterus, which was removed from the victim’s body.

The Times further noted the curious circumstance of an American surgeon who wished to include real uteri with a journal he was mailing to clients! Could this bizarre surgeon, whose name was not known, have prompted the killer to get ‘a uterus for the £20 reward?’ asked the paper. In a later issue, next to the report of other Ripper murders (26 October 1888), a clergyman protested in a long letter at the condemnation of the destitute by the middle classes, at [-p.162] their hypocrisy over prostitution and at their ignorance of the conditions prevailing in the East End. He concluded that this had ‘blotted the pages of our Christianity’.

The freakish, of which the nineteenth century was inordinately fond, found itself beside the missionary, which in its guise as Mayhew, Engels or Booth consistently restated the ordinariness of the ‘freak’ (the destitute, the prostitute, the opium addict, the derelict). ‘Body snatching’ (and the notion of a uterus as a ‘free gift’ with a new journal) then wierdly allies itself with murder for greed (the reward offered at £20) and murder as the act of the desperately destitute. Jack becomes the focus for the bizarre in the ordinary misery of everyday life in the metropolitan slums. Jack the murderer becomes Jack the missionary who focussed on problems other investigators were unable to bring to such a wide audience. Murder allowed for social reform. The newspapers, by keeping Jack the centre of attention, ironically kept the slum problems central too.

After reports covering three months by The Times and The Times Weekly Edition, the newspaper concluded that ‘the murderer seems to have vanished, leaving no trace of his identity… with even greater mystery’ (The Times, 10 November 1888). Jack the Ripper, given his nom de guerre by Fleet Street, was the first major figure to offer himself to, and to become, a creation of journalism. By the 1880s newspapers commanded audiences large enough to make Jack a major figure of international interest rather than a local folktale figure for the East End of London. The power of journalism and the crowded warrens of the central city of the Empire together provided ground for the dissemination of the legend, a legend based upon both fear and curiosity – a terrible ambivalence. The possibilities for the dissemination of rumour could never be more fortuitous, and letters from ‘Jack’ fed interest and added to the atmosphere of uncertainty.

Indeed, Jack’s letters themselves may have been the work of an entrepreneurial journalist providing ‘copy’ for himself.” (pp.161-162)

“The Ripper letters are a form of true life confessionheightened to the level of a fiction which embraces a ‘cockney’ persona, a sense of black hmour, a melodramatic villain (‘them curses of coppers’) and a ghoul (sending ‘innerds’) and mixes it with a sense of the dramatic and a feeling for a rhetorical climax. In these letters life and popular theatre come together to act upon the popular imagination. The Ripper (now possibly many ‘Rippers’ all reporting their acts) autographs his works as a famous artist (death as creativity) – anonymous and yet totally well known. Here, confession only adds to confusion (even Neill Cream claimed to be the Ripper). Jack’s letter ‘from Hell’ concludes ‘catch me when you can’, adding a sense of challenge and a stronger sense of a ‘hint’ to the frustration of authority in its quest for an actual identity to the murderer.

By the time of these letters Jack has ceased to be one killer but has become a multiplicity of performing personas for the popular imagination. The possibility of copycat crimes (although finally dismissed from at least two other ‘torso’ cases) lent to Jack the amorphous ability to inhabit more than one physical body.

Consequently, for the late nineteenth century, the Ripper became a type of ‘folk’ character whose exploits spilled into the twentieth century via cinema, theatre and fiction.” (p.163)

Bloom describes the numerous writers who have sought to positively identify the Ripper, noting that “The ‘debate’ heats up every few years with new flushes of theory and further refutations, while works such as Stephen Knight’s Jack the Ripper; The Final Solution added to the growing heap of books searching for scandal in suburbia or in the freemasons, in highest government or the royal family. Knight, himself a journalist, stated in the East London Advertiser (7 December 1973) that ‘the evil presence of Jack the Ripper still seems to haunt… the imagination of crime investigators’, and he noted that in the 1970s letters were still arriving from people claiming knowledge of or claiming actually to be ‘the Ripper’. In the twentieth century Jack has become the centre of a conspiracy debate. Indeed, so vast is the volume of literature to date that Alexander Kelly was able to write an article for The Assistant Librarian about his compilation of a bibliography of ‘Ripperana and Ripperature’. / The Ripper literature however is far from confined to the work of amateur sleuths (and they are a study in themselves) but extends to both fiction and film.” (p.164)

Jack the Ripper is a name for both a necessary fiction and a fact missing its history. Here fiction and history meet and mutate so that the Ripper can be searched for by ‘historians’ of crime at the very same moment that he can ppear in a Batman comic. Separable from his origins, the Ripper is a strange historicized fiction, a designation for a type of murderer and his scenario (for the game is to give ‘Jack’ his real name and collapse fiction into biography), while also being a structural necessity for a type of [-p.165] fictional genre….” (pp.164-165)

In chasing the identity of the Ripper and in placing his personality upon numerous more or less well-known historical characters (the lastest being James Maybrick) investigators acknowledge the [-p.166] bizarre silence at the heart of the tale, a place where history has closed in upon itself and refused its fact. History becomes an abyss antagonistic to its own determinants and played upon by conspiracy in the fiction of the secret of Jack’s identity. Scanning the grim, grainy, obscure picture taken of Mary Kelly’s eviscerated body as if in search of clues we become dabblers in the oracular and the occult. In her photo the Ripper steps out of Victorian history to become the epitome of Victorian history, its embodiment and spokesman.” (pp.165-166)

Ref: (italics in original) Clive Bloom (1996) Cult Fiction: Popular reading and pulp theory. Macmillan Press Ltd: London

Literacy, publication, and prizes

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The links between mass literacy and personal aspiration, eccentric desires and public requirements always proved unbridgeable when the medium was print – public duty being abandoned in favour of craftmanship and inspiration. This was in no little part due to the essential intervention of capitalist activity in the realm of printed aesthetics. It should not be forgotten how many respectable publishers and proprietors began their lives in the underworld of publishing for a mass or ‘semi-literate’ readership. Rupert murdoch, after all, financed The Times from profits earned at The Sun. A previous entrepreneurial newsman, Alfred Harmsworth, the future Lord Northcliffe, proprietor of The Times from 1908 and one of Britain’s greatest media magnates, began as a journalist who dealt in anecdote and trivia and was the founder of Answers to Correspondents on Every Subject Under the Sun which specialized in sensationalist competitions and sold at a penny an issue. Nor should it be forgotten that his bedside reading was The Newgate Calendar, nor that his career began with George Newnes proprietor of both Tit Bits and the Strand.

Through such publications the new reading public satisfied its curiosity about the world and itself; curiosity about self now competed with public duty. During the age of criminilization the world of Newgate already represented a sentimental nostalgia for a history determined by hero robbers and larger-than-life thief takers. Harmsworth’s personality was already sentimentaliszed in parallel with and no less than his readers’. Where Marx and Engel saw the masses, Harmsworth and his brother saw also the individual.” (20)

Bloom cites Peter Haining (ed The Fantastic Pulps) as stating: “The disillusionment that followed the war, the frustration over the mushrooming gangster control of the cities affected the detective story as much as it did mainstream fiction. And the 1920s occupation with the American language, the dissatisfaction with the Victorian rhetoric and polite exposition was nowhere more strongly felt than among the writers of private eye stories.” (21) Bloom continues: “Attempting to compensate for uneven sales [H.L.] Mencken [co-owner of The Smart Set] began Black Mask in 1920. Highly successful and hugely influential, the magazine proved an embarassment for Mencken who referred to it as ‘our new louse’. He finally sold the enterprise and returned to defending culture.

This two-tiered publishing and reading system was repeated on both sides of the Atlantic. However, by the middle twentieth century even though many entrepreneurial and opportunistic Victorian publishers had consolidated their position and become large corporate enterprises they gave rise to a flourishing subsystem of pulp publishers which existed alongside them. Such publishers included Thorpe & Porter and E.H. and Irene Turney in Britain who between them ran a stable of extraordinarily named pulp authors who enjoyed universal success in the aftermath of World War II and the early years of the welfare state – years in which American imports were restricted.

Even the Booker Prize, established in 1968 in Britain to ratify the art of the novel was the consequence of a shrewd move made to establish a public profile and respectability for a long-time food business. The prize grew out of an idea by Tom Maschler and Graham C. Greene of Jonathan Cape. Cape had bought Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale and Fleming had created a company called Glidrose to protect potential profits. Booker chairman Jock Campbell who was a friend of Fleming, bought the company and put Booker into the publishing business. Originally named Artists Services, Booker Books already represented a number of authors by 1968 and had acquired 51 per cent of the rights to Agatha Christie. The entire sequence of events had been determined as much by commercial interest as by aesthetic concern.” (21)

Again, Bloom continues: “If significant authors were accorded the privilege of such prizes others had this recognition refused both by working practice and by social and cultural expectation. What recognition, and by what hierarchy of definitions can one begin to bring to visibility the writers who were refused canonic status and whose style was demoted to [-p.22] mere technical skill? Such writers, even those who are popular classics (a bizarre status), are refused a meaningful place within the fluctuations of literary culture. At best, they become sociologically interesting, at worst they become pathological cases.” (21-22)

“If Robert Louis Stevenson, John Buchan and Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Ian Fleming, are second-league popular classics” Bloom notes, “what becomes of Sidney Horler, Guy Thorne, William Le Queux or Sax Rohmer who are remembered but barely read, or Barbara Cartland, Catherine Cookson or (from a quite different direction) horror writer Shaun Hutson, who are all read but certainly not recognized….” (22)

Bloom cites Lee Server (Danger is my Business): “the pulp-created genres – science fiction, horror, private eye, Western, superhero – now dominate not only popular literature but every sort of mass entertainment, from movies and television to comic books. This legacy will remain long after the last of the pulp magazines themselves – haphazardly saved and physically unsuited for preservation – have all turned to dust.” (25)

Ref: (italics in original) Clive Bloom (1996) Cult Fiction: Popular reading and pulp theory. Macmillan Press Ltd: London