The Problem with Jargon in Crime Books

Cover of "Cimarron Rose (Billy Bob Boy Ho...

Cover of Cimarron Rose (Billy Bob Boy Howdy)

While I was reading James Lee Burke’s ‘Cimarron Rose‘, I wondered why the book wasn’t a bestseller. It is a rare novel  where heavy human drama and insensitive hardboiled action were combined. An excerpt:

‘Then I had one of those moments that nullify all easy definitions about human behavior and the nature of love…’ (Burke then described how the father of a beastly criminal kissed his son while son was asleep from too much drugs and hyperactivity).

Then I remembered I found it the most hard to understand his hardboiled crime lingo, including almost obsolete words. Plus the fact that he used old western American language. That might be the reason. A lesson non-bestselling authors could use.

Anyway, Burke doesn’t need any more bestsellers. He has had enough of those and various awards.

Even Coleridge was a Plagiarist!

The list keeps getting longer. These are five more:
Stephen Ambrose

T.S. Eliot

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Richard Owen

H.G. Wells

How to walk the fine line between unconscious borrowing and deliberate theft
‘In his indispensable essay on memory, plagiarism, and the necessary forgettings of creativity, neurologist Oliver Sacks points to English poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21, 1772–July 25, 1834) as one of creative history’s most notorious perpetrators of plagiarism. In the altogether fascinating chronicle Coleridge: Darker Reflections, 1804–1834 (public library), biographer Richard Holmes unravels the psychological propensities of the poet’s mind that made his plagiarism possible — and, arguably, pleasurable — for him…’

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About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
This entry was posted in crime, fiction, literature, media, publishing, review, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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