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Karl-May-Forum • View topic - Pulp fiction and Karl May

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 Post subject: Pulp fiction and Karl May
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:14 pm 
In 1855, Street & Smith, New York, created a ‘fiction factory’ when they bought ‘The New York Weekly Dispatch’, and began publishing an unprecedented volume of dime novels, pulp magazines, book serials for juveniles, comics, adventure stories and more—fiction had become a commodity. Authors like Upton Sinclair and Jack London were part of the Street & Smith stable of pulp fiction writers.
Pulp fiction publications had evolved from the British ‘Penny Dreadfuls’ of the 1830s and their American equivalent, so-called ‘Dime Novels’, but weren’t exclusively American; between 1882 and 1884, Capitain Ramon Diaz de la Escosura, published the most popular and successful pulp novel of its time in Europe—it was so successful, in fact, that Escosura, aka Karl May, much-loved, yet much-maligned German writer, entered the ranks of New-York-published pulp fiction writers with Waldroeschen, (American title: Mariano or Hunted Around the World) in 1886, published by Alwin Eichler (connected to Heinrich Gotthold Muenchmeyer publisher).
However, the most famous of his pulp fiction heroes were from the ‘American Old West’—a genre that lasted the longest in the form of traditional pulp—Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. Although today published as 500-page novels, Karl May first introduced the blood brothers in serialized trivial literature—pulp fiction. By 1954 pulp magazines were a thing of the past, yet Winnetou and Old Shatterhand are still ridin' on ... and on ... and on ... 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:30 am 
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 12:05 pm
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Location: U.S.A.
Marlies, I am glad you pointed out that respectable—and great—authors had some of their work published in the “pulp fiction” genre. While the range of quality in pulp fiction is exactly the same as that in the case of books and stories published in the so-called “respectable” press, to some people, the term “pulp fiction” carries negative implications. The 1990’s film “Pulp Fiction” did not shine a favourable light on the form, with its ludicrous story line; though it helped bring the term back into popular usage, which in turn may lead readers to worthy literature that has been neglected.

The book Mariano, or Hunted Around the World must be exceedingly rare!


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