RE: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled This & That

From: Bill Hagen (
Date: 18 Apr 2000

James writes,

"After having wrangled on the noir v. HB distinction ever since I got on the list, I have finally come to the conclusion that it is just about the most useless catagorization in the world. No one ever agrees as to which is which and, since it appears just about all of us like both flavors, it doesn't seem to have much practical effect."

I'm sorry you're weary of theory, but it does have some practical effect.
  I expect most of us have firm views on the subject and create criteria to back up our judgements (or irrational tastes) of what is good and bad in the books we read.

Bill, Our Leader, once posted a nice summary of definitions of cozies, hardboiled, and noir fiction, the latter two derived from a number of RA contributors. I rather liked his definitions, especially since I was among those who contributed to them.

But I'm not going to reopen any definitional dialogue either.

On to "this & that."

So, HB (or noir) without a crime that organizes the plot? A hard one: plots which feature addiction, such as the original for The Man With The Golden Arm or Charles Jackson's The Lost Weekend?

Bill Hagen

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