RE: RARA-AVIS: John Williams' Post

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 05 Aug 2002

John Williams said: strikes me - talking right off the top of my head now - that maybe the
 most interesting way for the noir/hb writing to develop is to move out of
 the genre confines. The challenge, certainly, that interests me as a writer,
 is to apply the things I like about noir/hb - the sense that the world is
 not OK, that the underdog viewpoint is the one to take, that corruption is
 everywhere, that the evocation of place can be crucial to the creation of
 character - to novels that do not neccessarily need to revolve around a dead
 body or a zillion dollar coke deal.

************** Its been done, and pretty darned successfully, too.

Earl Thompson's _A Garden of Sand_ is outside the usual bounds of of the genre, but still as hardboiled as it gets. And narrowing your "dead body" requirement to the solution of a murder, I would say that Cormac McCarthy's _Blood Meridian_ fills the bill. There's plenty of dead bodies in
_Blood Meridian_, but solving the crime isn't very high on the plot's priority. And what about Frazer's recent _Cold Mountain_? Very tough. ;-)

And yes, the books I listed above are very interesting.


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