Re: RARA-AVIS: Hard-Boiled vs Noir

Mario Taboada (
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 10:50:10 +0000 Bill Hagen:

<<Noir, as Mario observes, is more pessimistic. In my view it carries
on the kind of fatalism that literary naturalism can represent. One
can't rise above the environment: we get stories of straight arrows who
are bent, and bent arrows who live quite well, unless or until they are
caught. And if they are caught, it's because (to change metaphors in
mid-paragraph) they didn't play the "game" well enough.>>

The connection with naturalism is, I think, a valid one. If you look at
the work of Zola and later writers like Pagnol and Giono, for example,
you see stories that could well have been written by Thompson or Goodis
(in a more direct style, perhaps, but in a similar spirit). And even
Galdos's _Tristana_ has a noir air to it, which Bu=F1uel exploited
brilliantly in his film. And let's face it, noir usually involves
melodrama, just like a lot of naturalistic fiction. This is far less
often the case in hardboiled fiction.


Mario Taboada
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