Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir and its definitions

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 13 Feb 2003

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mark Sullivan" <>

> Jack, I like your definition of "Screwed." However, I've been thinking
> about miker's question about what separates modern (or should that be
> modernist?) noir from the antecedents he mentions. In my mind, part of
> it seems to do with "the city." Although I can think of exceptions (for
> instance, Daniel Woodrell and Joe Lansdale), the city sees to me to be
> an integral part in my idea of noir.

I'd have to disagree, Mark. I don't see noir as location-dependent. Hardboiled, maybe - its stereotype protagonist, the PI, isn't going to get much work in a town with a population of 1280. But surely one of noir's stereotypes is the small town sheriff. And Charles Williams wrote a number of noirs set at sea. Then there's all the backwoods stuff. I think noir transcends geographical constraints.


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