RARA-AVIS: Noir: Mario

From: Michael Robison ( zspider@gte.net)
Date: 12 Oct 2002

Since I came to the group without a clue as to what hardboiled or noir entails, I've found it easy and convenient to work with Jim Doherty's definitions. But here a couple months ago you mentioned something about some special char- acteristics of noir. You didn't say much, just a passing comment, but it piqued my interest.

I'm not interested in rekindling an old argument about what noir is, but I would be interested if you had any thoughts on noir beyond just the "dark and sinister atmosphere."

What provoked this request was your recent comment about Whitfield being noir but Hammett not. Whitfield seems to let his characters express a bit more emotion, and I can see where this, at least in GREEN ICE, generates a fatalistic attitude that fuels the noir atmosphere. And I can see where maybe this is not so much present in RED HARVEST. Everybody is so darned tough that it diminishes the foreboding atmosphere simply because nobody much cares. But you don't think that Hammett's MALTESE FALCON is noir, either?

Thanks, miker

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