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Die verdeckten Dateien de Derek Raymond
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Die verdeckten Dateien (edició 1999)

de Derek Raymond (Autor)

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The autobiography of Derek Raymond - Fifties wide-boy and amateur art-dealer, Sixties mainstream novelist and Eighties crime-writer. It reflects the contradictions in his personality - a mixture of bleakness and urbanity, black despair and courteous generosity.
Títol:Die verdeckten Dateien
Autors:Derek Raymond (Autor)
Informació:DuMont Reiseverlag, Ostfildern (1999), 429 Seiten
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Malsy : Büro
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Hidden Files de Derek Raymond

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Autobiografia e autodifesa dell'autore che cerca di motivare la sua frequentazione della vita dei bassifondi con l'impulso di scrivere romanzi noir del tutto veritieri. Si può apprezzare la sua opera letteraria, ma una persona "civile" si rende conto che non si è affatto sacrificato a sbronzarsi con assassini-ladri-truffatori-biscazzieri-papponi-prostitute vivendo di espedienti, partecipando a truffe, macchiandosi di omertà su delitti atroci "in nome della sua arte". La sua autodifesa suona quindi piuttosto falsa, ripetitiva e come ossessionata dal desiderio di un'assoluzione, e le sue sparate contro una società che permette (per lui provoca) l'esistenza dei bassifondi rivelano un'inconscia ricerca di trovare colpe che giustifichino le sue. ( )
  saintwo2005 | Dec 22, 2012 |
Though billed as an autobiography, Derek Raymond is more intent in this volume on defining the “black novel” and his qualifications for writing it. Raymond (real name Robin Cook) was born to a wealthy English family in 1931, but rebelled against his upbringing almost from the beginning. He quit Eton, served a short, larcenous stint in the army, and then took up with lowlife types (or “villains” as he would call them), resulting in a number of scrapes with the law, including smuggling and a number of other scams. In 1962, he published his first novel, THE CRUST ON ITS UPPERS, which is a lightly disguised version of some of these escapades. Over the next decade, he published several other novels, without much popular success, although critics gave him good notices from time to time.

Retreating to France, he worked at various jobs, mostly manual labor, before re-emerging in 1984 with HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN, the first of his five “Factory” novels. By this time, except in France, he was using the name Derek Raymond to avoid confusion with the highly successful author of COMA, not to mention the British cabinet minister of the same name. The Factory series defines what a “black novel” is. To oversimplify, it is a mystery that treats murder, its perpetrators, and its victims in a realistic manner. The protagonist of the books is a nameless police sergeant, who, as we read the HIDDEN FILES, we learn shares a lot of traits with Derek Raymond. He is capable of friendships, but prefers to work alone. When on a case (or writing a book), he isn’t very considerate of others. And he has an intense focus on the crime or task at hand and a deep empathy with its real life or fictional victim.

Raymond presents a theory about serial killers, derived from his own extensive research. Again, to oversimply, the serial killer has a split personality. The normal side, which allows him to operate day-to-day in the real world, doesn’t consciously recognize the evil side that murders and defiles its victims. And the word “defile” is key, since the Factory series goes into extreme details about the grisly details of each murder, the role it plays in the murderer’s sexual gratification, and so on. While the structure of THE HIDDEN FILES is very loose and rambling, Raymond returns again and again to this core subject. He is dismissive of mystery novels that don’t show the proper respect for the crime of murder, singling out Agatha Christie a couple of times for particular derision. He also names a few writers of “black novels” that he admires, including Raymond Chandler and David Goodis. There is a mention of George Higgins’ THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE as well. But none of these authors even begin to scrape the depths that Raymond does in the five Factory novels. The last, least successful book in the series, DEAD MAN UPRIGHT, spends the last several chapters exploring the same subject as a psychologist interviews the murderer as the nameless sergeant looks on. If you have read that book, much of what Raymond says here won’t be new, but it does read better here than in the novel.

The most autobiographical part of the story concerns the author’s upbringing and life up to the time he left Eton at 17. This period covers World War II, and his recollections of how he and other schoolboys’ perspective of the war and its day-to-day occurrences (buzz bombs flying overhead, British and enemy planes crashing nearby, playing “gestapo” in the schoolyard) are fascinating. Late in the book, he also spends a few pages focusing on how he became involved with criminals in London, resulting in his brushes with the law. But this is presented just to assert the authenticity of his writing about police and “villains”. It leaves out nearly all of the really good details. Otherwise, throughout the novel he presents scenes of his time spent with friends, mostly his French neighbors. These provide a lot of insight into the author’s character, but many of these people are presented with very little introduction, and unless you know them already, it is difficult to always follow. Nor does Raymond/Cook spend much time discussing his many marriages, although he does go into detail about some (carefully chosen, I’m sure) of his relationships with women (wives and others).

Most of his novels aren’t mentioned at all, and of those he does, only one gets significant air time: I WAS DORA SUAREZ, the fourth Factory novel. Raymond says that writing that novel nearly broke him mentally and physically. It was a life-changing event. He wrote, “SUAREZ was my atonement for fifty years’ indifference to the miserable state of this world; it was a terrible journey through my own guilt, and through the guilt of others.”

After reading THE HIDDEN FILES, you will appreciate the meaning of this statement. Raymond only claims to be a “minor” writer, but in the nameless sergeant’s obsession with solving each horrible killing and through his total identification with the victims, Raymond has given us a portrait both of human depravity, but also of the small ray of light in each man that allows us to hope the future may be better than the past.

So, though it is flawed as a conventional autobiography, THE HIDDEN FILES ultimately succeeds in giving us a sense of Derek Raymond/Robin Cook the human being. He began this book as he was about to turn 60, knowing that he was entering the twilight period of his life, but he clearly had lots of plans for the future. Reading this death-obsessed book, knowing that he would die of cancer four years later, is especially wrenching. ( )
2 vota datrappert | Apr 23, 2012 |
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No n'hi ha cap

The autobiography of Derek Raymond - Fifties wide-boy and amateur art-dealer, Sixties mainstream novelist and Eighties crime-writer. It reflects the contradictions in his personality - a mixture of bleakness and urbanity, black despair and courteous generosity.

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