RE: RARA-AVIS: Zeltserman's In His Shadow

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 24 Oct 2002

Mario wrote: Michael: I coined postnoir because it's an ironic, knowing type of noir fiction. The distinction may be useful for discussion. The origin with The Woman Chaser is tentative and subject to revision. It's the earliest example I know, but then, maybe older books by Goodis and Thompson or Gil Brewer are ironic, too, and it just shows less (or I am blind to the irony).

********** So you're saying that original noir was not ironic?

But isn't Cain's POSTMAN noir? And isn't it ironic that Frank goes to his death, not for the murder he did commit
(the Greek), but for a murder he did not commit (Cora)? I could go on. What about NIGHTMARE ALLEY? Isn't the final outcome absolutely kick-butt, knock-your-socks-off irony? And what about Woolrich's I MARRIED A DEAD MAN? I'm certain that's noir. Isn't it ironic that the death of the guy that threatened the security of their lives is now tearing their lives apart anyway?


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