"... That artist talks to himself out loud. If what he has to say is significant, others hear and are affected.” — Edmund Carpenter.

Which makes me think of Lester Dent.
Now if I mention Doc Savage, my friends get a certain look in their eyes. Because they really can't see why I enjoy the books, and they suspect that if I talk about them long enough, they too, may become infected and zombie-like.

 Lester Dent wrote around 4.5 million words on the subject of Doc Savage. All were written at speed, all were written to sell to an audience of limited scope, and for a throw-away, disposable medium. Here today, gone tomorrow. But mixed into that output is some interesting art, and it is that thin vein of gold that fascinates me.

I could live without the obvious plot twists, the femme fatales, Monk's head injuries -- in fact I usually ignore them. The bigger story about a Renaissance man who's life is changed by his father's murder, is explored behind the maze of mysterious deaths and dashing gangsters.
Its a familiar concept to us now -- thank you Bruce Wayne -- but unlike Batman's psychotic reaction, Savage's PTSD manifests itself differently. In solving mysteries, he tries to rationalize the universe, and by extension his own life. The surgeon he might have become, fades. Early, groundbreaking work in nuclear physics are ignored by the world at large. A genius originally feted and consulted is gradually marginalized by a larger world of politics and progress.

 Dent does not emphasis these ideas. He was writing for a market, and getting thousands of words down every day was the important part.
But he does talk to himself, and the words are there, and the astute reader can maybe string them together, and so much more interesting plot surfaces.

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