Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir

From: Sidney Allinson (
Date: 13 Feb 2003

----- Original Message ----- From: "Graham Powell" <> To: <> Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2003 7:15 AM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir

> One thing that shapes our thinking about hardboiled and noir is the
> influence of history.

Agreed. Our present-day perception of hardboiled books written in the 20/30/40s as being "noir" is entirely as seen through a rear-view mirror.

>The group of hardboiled writers that formed around
> Black Mask in the '20s (including Hammett, Daly, Paul Cain, as well as
> editor Joseph Shaw) clearly felt that they were part of a movement, that
> they were doing something new and different.

More likely, they just felt they were part of a group of writers whose manuscripts were being accepted regularly. Without exception, Black Mask writers were simply journeymen freelancers, working for a couple of cents a word; unpretentions down-to-earth scribes with an understanding of their market. I'd guess they'd be honestly puzzled by being categorized as artistes in any particular literary movement.
-- Sidney.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Feb 2003 EST