Tag Archives: Juan Terranova

Fulfilled Women, Empty Men


    Several years ago, the Brooklyn Museum extended the bounds of good taste by exhibiting pulp magazine covers. For those too young, pulps supplied literary thrills and adventures from the late 1920s into early 50s. Labeled “pulps” because the editions guts were printed on coarse paper, the appellation could’ve extended to the covers as well.

    Although glossy, the wraparounds didn’t bother teasing prospective readers about the contents. Rather, lurid covers promised all sorts of dicey situations filled with malevolence. Be assured rare was the denouement that promoted uplift and redemption.

    Some chapters might’ve aspired to The Four Feathers, but none ever neared that level of daring-do.

    The stories were turgid and churning. The covers reflected that assiduously. The Manhattan-based Society of Illustrators just wrapped up its own retrospective of pulp magazine covers. Dames in distress, gunsels, hop heads, fortune seekers, and space aliens were displayed.

    Unlike our contemporary criminal chronicles which mine present-day fears, those long ago entertainments made no effort to hold mirrors against then-society.

    Skip reflection or deep-seated introspection. Just the thing committed for the basest reasons. Which is why I’m so enamored with Argentine crime. Continue reading Fulfilled Women, Empty Men

A Piropo of Nothing


    Journalism disabused me of any hero-worshipping. While it is fine to admire and acknowledge exceptional feats, those performing them are just as human as the rest of mankind. Having acquitted themselves well in stressful situations the remainder of us might’ve fallen woefully short, I learned often that more than the feet of such people were made of clay.

    All the more so here in the States. Maybe it’s part of the American character. Maybe it’s possessing an adolescent outlook in a mature bulked-up body, but our culture craves heroes. We’re quick to anoint them, almost as fast to discard them, and on continuous searches for the next one regardless. Continue reading A Piropo of Nothing