[Picture]      The point, and one he would repeatedly stress: “You must have raw material. It gives you the edge on the field.”

     Still, that field was extremely competitive. Notwithstanding the great pulp appetite – approximately a million stories were said to have been published through the sixty-year pulp reign – the vast majority of those stories were actually authored by some three hundred hard-line professionals. Moreover, at a penny-a-word, those tales were pounded out pretty quickly. LRH friend and colleague Richard Sale (generally remembered for his “Daffy Dill” series and the Clark Gable vehicle Strange Cargo), would later tell of penning a story a day – three thousand words and more, every day. Then there was the legendary Arthur J. Burks, a.k.a. “Mr. Pulp,” who regularly topped two million words a year – an astonishing feat for a typist, let alone a creative writer. While if the LRH rate of seventy thousand words a month (eventually a hundred thousand) seems rather less impressive, one must understand that wordage sprang from but three days a week at his Remington manual.

     Yet even from the most accelerated prose comes a sense of something more enduring than the hammering of keys, “until I am finger worn to the second joint,” as Ron so vividly phrased it. Later critics would speak of a “hard but brittle truth,” and point to the work of pulpateer Horace McCoy and all he brought to French Existentialists André Gide and Jean-Paul Sartre. They would also speak of that “unvarnished realism,” and point to a Chandler and Hammett who, “took murder out of the Venetian case and dropped it into the alley,” as Chandler himself would describe it. Then, too, they would point to an L. Ron Hubbard who was soon to accomplish the same for the supernatural novel, lifting it out of an unreal Gothic and weaving it into the fabric of any town USA.

The genres spanned by L. Ron Hubbard

About the Manuscript Factory continued...

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