RARA-AVIS: city vs country; gothic

From: ejmd ( ejmd@cwcom.net)
Date: 08 Feb 2000

juri wrote:

> There is the aspect of the
> corrupt city in almost every hardboiled/noir book/film, but there is
> also the healing aspect of nature, e.g. in "The Asphalt Jungle".

That's not just hb-/noir; I think that's part of a more general tendency in modernism: eg, Lawrence's city is 'the great wrong place' while the country is presented as idyllic.

> But I found that John G. Cawelti says that the plot of "The Dain
> Curse" is straight from "The Mysteries of Udolpho"! Comments, anyone.

Well DC twists and draws on the supernatural like a great gothic thing. I don't know Udolpho (if I ever did I've forgotten it!) but the thing that really struck me about DC was its gothic quality.

FWIW, I think Hammett places the 'clues' in Falcon so cleverly as to make the cosiest of cosy writers curl up and die [it was kind of a shame they didn't]. All that and h-b too ;-)


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