Re: RARA-AVIS: Cain's Double Indemnity

A.N.Smith (
Sun, 3 Oct 1999 13:50:52 -0500

I use hardboiled and noir interchangeably, but recogize that "noir" is more a movie term for a particular style of film that often adapted crime novels or were centered on criminals. Hardboiled, though, seems a worldview and style that sprung from writing, just with a funny name. You see the style outside of crime--Hemingway, Jean Rhys, maybe even as far back as Steven Crane, and perhaps carried into the spare prose of the minimalists in the 80s. But generally, crime fiction stemming from Hammett, yada, yada. Because of the inspiration of film on new writers, it sounds fine to use noir to describe writing, too.

It's Cain who said, "I belong to no school, hardboiled or otherwise."

Neil Smith

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