Category Archives: Literary Criticism

Patricia Savage, The Bronze Goddess Of Pulp Fiction

“Some bear it better than others.  We Savages, I think carry it poorly.” —Patricia Savage, “I Died Yesterday” (1948) Of all the Doc Savage stories published by Street & Smith during its sixteen-year run, “I Died Yesterday” is unique in being the only story told from Patricia Savage’s point of view.  Who is Patricia Savage?   She […]

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Henry Kuttner’s Galloway Gallagher

Are you a technician or a driveling idiot?  — “The Proud Robot” (1943) The story goes that Galloway Gallagher got his name when his author, Henry Kuttner, called the frazzled protagonist “Gallagher” in the “Time Locker”, then mistakenly called him “Galloway” while writing its sequel.  Kuttner, realizing his error, combined the names and thus, Galloway Gallagher was born.  Whether […]

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The Bathing Beauty

This is my attempt to write a short, focused essay in the style of Roland Barthes, a critic famous for his 1967 essay, “The Death of the Author”, in which he argued authorial intent is an unimportant consideration for criticism.  Barthes published many works using structural linguistics to analyze literature, movies, advertising, and commonplace items. […]

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The Peculiar Sensation of Time

I am afraid I cannot convey the peculiar sensations of time travel.  They are exceedingly unpleasant.  —The Time Machine (1895) Today I finished the final chapters of H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine and felt the sadness I always feel when finishing a great book—it is the sadness of parting ways with people I have grown to […]

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Dateline Hollywood—Mars Attacks (Without Reason)

It is an Associated Press dispatch, describing a universal nightmare.  —The Critic, April 23, 1898   After two unsatisfying attempts, one by George Powell and another by Steven Spielberg, it is obvious to everyone that Hollywood – from its producers and directors down to its writers and its gaffers – does not understand H. G. […]

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Savage Critique (Doc Savage and The Black, Black Witch)

Days ago I finished reading my first Doc Savage novel, and upon finishing the last chapter, was as giddy as a twelve year-old.  It is a feat that has until now, eluded me; while I’ve had several Doc Savage reprints lying around for years – including an old Bama reprint of “Murder Melody” – I’ve […]

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