RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir etc

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 14 Feb 2003

Charlie wrote:

"I would never dream of calling Hammett and Chandler noir. THE MALTESE FALCON and THE BIG SLEEP are positive, life-affirming romps. Noir must seep into heads of characters and expose their fragilities. Chandler and Hammett's heros are impermeable. They are white knights, not lost souls."

I'm not going to argue that The Big Sleep is noir, or even The Maltese Falcon (although it has a better claim -- stained PI does his job, but must bust the woman he loves). However, I would say that the streets down which Marlowe and Spade (and the Continental Op) walk are pretty noir, even if the hero tries (with varying degrees of sucess) to stay out of the gutter. Perhaps they are called in by clients whose worlds are going dark?


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