RE: What’s the meaning of the title ‘Pulp Fiction’?

What does the title 'Pulp Fiction' signify in the context of the movie? Is there any hidden meaning or subtext to it?

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The title "Pulp Fiction" indeed carries its weight both in connection to the style and the content of Quentin Tarantino's classic film. Essentially, "Pulp Fiction" refers to a type of popular literature circulated from the late 19th to mid-20th century. These were cheaply produced fiction magazines printed on low-quality (pulp) paper, composed of short stories across various genres like mystery, science fiction, hard-boiled detective thrillers, and more. These narratives were popular, riveting, and included twists, hard-hitting dialogues, graphic violence, and vivid characterization. Typically, these stories presented a dark and more cynical view of life. In alignment with this, Quentin Tarantino’s "Pulp Fiction" is a homage to this very literary genre. The movie mimics its multilayered narrative structure, eccentric characters, dialogue style, and gratuitous violence. Each of its interrelated stories could be individual pulp stories in themselves. The nonlinear, episodic storytelling also mirrors how readers would pick up pulp magazines and jump from story to story, not necessarily reading in any chronological order. Furthermore, "Pulp Fiction" also implicates something cheap and trashy. Hence, Tarantino, by using this title, could be poking fun at the fact that although the film discusses morally reprehensible characters and their actions in hyper-violent contexts, it has nonetheless been presented as an art form. In its essence, the title "Pulp Fiction" captures the essence of the movie stylistically, thematically, and tonally by drawing a parallel to this particular genre of literature. It perfectly underscores the narrative style and content of the film.
Answered on September 16, 2023.
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