Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir Horror?

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 06 Feb 2000

Hey Rare Birds, it's been awhile, but I'm back and digging the Noir/Horror thread. Thomas Harris should be mentioned. I know HANNIBAL is much despised, but it and RED DRAGON and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS all seem to combine elements of hard boiled, noir, and modern day gothic horror. Hope I'm not stretching it here and offending the delicate sensibilities of certain list members.

Joe Lansdale has been mentioned a bit, but not enough. Almost everything I've read of his blends elements of these three genres. Masterfully at that.

Many of Richard Matheson's early novels seemed to blend horror or science fiction elements with a rather hard boiled tone.

I won't even mention those ghosts that help Burke's Robicheaux out of his jams every now and again.


a.n.smith wrote:

> >
> I was thinking the same, like someone said earlier, that the effect is the
> thing (a big Poe idea) in both. But updating and substitution occured: the
> big city for the craggy mountain ranges, the mansion for the castle, the
> fear of being watched/pursured, the fear of death and the dark, etc. etc.
> And as far as the supernatural elements, I don't think the key in Gothic was
> to ask if they were real or not, but to ask if you believe the characters'
> fears that they might be real. A lot of that in HB/noir: did you really see
> what you thought you saw? Are you really being followed? Not to mention
> all the family secret stuff.
> As with anything 20th century, someone should realize that the coherence of
> the Gothic splintered and fragmented like eveything else, giving rise to
> Romance, Noir, Sci-Fi, etc. Pulps in America.
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