William Denton wrote (about his panel at Bloody Words):
> (Mine didn't go perfectly but they did fine jobs.
> Latour, who wrote OUTCAST, was on mine, and said some really interesting
> things about noir writing in Central and South America, none of which I
> can remember now.)
You do yourself a disservice, Bill. Jose Latour talked about
the difficulty and danger of writing noir in his home country
(Cuba) because political authorities saw it as threatening.
It depicted them as the corrupt power-mongers they are.
Clearly they feared the possibility it could lead to social
and political change.
Peter Chambers began by admitting he didn't feel he had a
place on the panel as a noir writer, and so he acted as a
foil, prodding Latour to clarify and expand his comments into
areas that might be more relevant to North American writers
Part way through, Gregory Ward provided an example of how
authorities in "western democracies" try to silence fans and
creators of noir fiction, by saying he felt there was a line
that should not be crossed into sensationalism and implying
anyone who crosses that line lacks moral decency. Making this
comment at a gathering of people who read and write about
murder was an especially revealing hypocrisy. It became clear
that writers who depict shocking scenes in order to shock
their readers are often moralists who feel their readers
should and need to be shocked by the state of the
Your panel also dealt with the social relevance of a form
that does not provide uplifting moral messages. Latour's
comments showed how the grim realities presented in noir
provide social transparency, revealing how power and
corruption work, and their consequences. Such transparency is
essential to the human need for redemption. But to even imply
in fiction there will be a change in the human condition is
to be brutally dishonest.
It became evident during the discussions at your panel that
the difference between cosy and noir is the difference
between entertainment and art. My only regret was that we
didn't hear more from Chris Rippen, but he had plenty of
opportunities if he'd had something to add.
-- <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<LOOKING FOR FUN>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The evil that men do lives after them at http://www.murderoutthere.com
Literary events in Ontario's Golden Horseshoe and around the world at http://www.lit-electric.com
<<<<<<<<<<<IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES>>>>>>>>>>>>
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