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This place matters

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Who was that masked man?

An average day in the Brockway household
Today I went to the library at lunch. I've taken to going there and just reading a random magazine off the shelves. Today I read History magazine and learned a bit about pulp fiction.
Pulp novels were a popular form of entertainment from the turn of the last century until about the 1950s. So called because they were printed on cheap paper with heavy wood pulp, pulp novels were famous for their over-the-top storytelling and lurid art. Characters introduced to us through the pulps include Zorro, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, Tarzan, and Conan.
Pulp novels were usually anthologies with stories by lots of different authors. Since the cover sold the books, the cover was considered the most important bit, and often the cover was created first, with the story authors being asked to produce content to go with the covers. 
Pulp fiction was the descendant of the penny dreadful, a cheap publication, also printed on pulpy paper, popular in Great Britain in the 1800s. They were usually lurid serial stories, the most famous of which being the tales of Sweeney Todd.
Even though pulp fiction was considered worthless filth in its day, some pretty famous folk wrote for the pulps, including Isaac Asimov, William S Burroughs, and Tennessee Williams.
Eep. Must go find some pulp fiction to read. Now.





3 comments:

Pearl said...

There's nothing like a tasty bit of pulp fiction. :-)

Pearl

Joshua said...

About two years ago, I found a guy on Craigslist giving away four boxes of pulp sci-fi that he just couldn't keep because he was downsizing his living conditions. I ended up with four beautiful boxes of 1960's-1970's pulp mags. Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson, just amazing stuff. I'm still making my way through them.

Things to Do said...

My mom has some great pulp novels that she displays. Although I don't think she's ever read any of them. I'll have to peruse them next time I'm home.

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