RARA-AVIS: to be (noir) or not to be...

From: Michael Robison ( zspider@gte.net)
Date: 10 Feb 2002

rene said:
> I can't say I agree with roping in Dostoeyevsky & Conrad as noir authors
> although I see his point & the influence on & thematic similarities to,
> noir authors is undeniable - & seeing how noir is a "genre" that was
> basically invented by critics & readers long after many of the authors
> were already gone, who can say, and prove, that he's wrong?

i agree, rene. whether those other authors are noir primarily depends on how you define noir. if you go for the all-encompassing definition of it being simply a portrayal of the world as being a big bad ugly place filled with mean nasty people, then i think dostoyevsky and conrad fit in. heck, for that matter we could throw in a decent percentage of shakespeare, couldn't we? and what about dante? "abandon hope all ye who enter" sounds sorta noirish to me.

i just recently reread conrad's _heart of darkness_, and it is certainly a dark portrayal of the human condition. i noticed from the many "rribic" lists on amazon that you've read it. _heart of darkness_ seems to me like _the killer inside me_ runs for election, and wins. in its own way, it is a much scarier book that thompson's.


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