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Lilith, Hasidic Folklore in a Pulp Crime Paperback, 1952

A sister, a Lilith, a monster of the morbid imagination. Serpent's Tale edition of the novel
David Goodis’ _Of Tender Sin_ (1952) was published as a mass-market pulp novel of mean streets, crime, and forbidden love (“strange bypaths of his own twisted emotions”). Beyond those selling points are sexual desire thwarted by a primordial sense of guilt, sado-masochism, incest, romantic idealism contrasted with demeaning lust, and a vivid picture of slum life in post-war America. These topics appeared in many crime novels by writers such as Charles Willeford, Jim Thompson, Dorothy B Hughes, Horace McCoy, and others. What is exceptional in Of Tender Sin is not, therefore, his allusions to Freud, Faulkner, Hemingway, or Kafka, or that Goodis used folklore and myth to drive his narrative pace. What was unique was that Goodis chose biblical and Hasidic story involving deadly storms, doppelgangers and demons, especially Lilith. If there is a more noirish work of literature than the Old Testament (Tanack), shout it out.
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