RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Women Rewriting

From: Words from the Monastery (
Date: 27 May 2000

Voice, view, perspective, etc., pretty much the same things that are unique between individuals ... or do y'all not accept the scientific view of human psychology?

I'm not a psychiatrist or a psychologist ... all I know is what I've read in Freud, Jung, and others as well as personal observation ... that is that men and women do not react the same way to the world and there's a common trend in both views that ironically (or at least I find it ironical) that homosexual males tend to be the most similar to women and lesbians to men. Equality is legislated concept ... it doesn't exist in nature. In nature there is no equality, that's what evolution is all about ... unique traits.

I see HB as a male hero's perspective of crime in an unapologetic realistic view within the context of the timeframe in which the setting is located and noir being that of the criminal if push comes to shove from a literary perspective ... I see noir more as a film genre/style (HB adapted for the screen). Now if you want say HB is the male or female perspective of crime in an unapologetic realistic view within the context of the timeframe in which the setting is located ... go for it. I see that being along the same lines as saying someone who's killed more than one person over a period of time is a serial killer ... semantically correct, but definitively lacking when say a life-time criminal who has happened to have murdered several people over the years as compared to Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, or Jeffrey Dalhmer.

Part of the problem is that there is no "definitive" definition of just what HB is ... everyone has an opinion and some share the same opinion, but there's no specific definition.

Also, there are actually two issues here ... not one. Women writing HB and women as HB protagonists. Can women write HB? Of course ... setting, voice, etc., are all aspects that can emulated by reading a large body of the canon. Can a woman be an HB protagonist? In a general definition of HB, I'd say yes ... but once more when you look at it in a more specific light, I don't agree that a woman can and so far the body of work that one can draw on supports that ... I'd like to see some true female perspective HB ... so far both men and women have done nothing more than put a dress on a guy and call him a lady in my opinion ... YMMV.

volente Deo,

Anthony Dauer Alexandria, Virginia

"The dead are heavy, after all."
 -Will Christopher Baer, "Penny Dreadful"

Hard-Boiled Noir Discussion

> From: James Rogers
> Sent: Saturday, May 27, 2000 12:00 AM
> Well, it's not an illegitimate topic, or anything. But I think we ought
> to clarify what these unique areas are. Maybe there are
> some....I'm willing
> to be persuaded. Of course, part of the problen is that there aren't all
> that many female writers who we can agree are working in the HB
> area....witness the recent discussion as to whether Charlotte
> Armstrong was
> HB/Noir or not.
> I have tried to make the case, in times gone by, that P.D.James
> sometimes spills over into HBland. That went over like a lead blimp. Maybe
> someone else can make the case that Grafton does (I doubt it).

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