Since the definition question has come up again, I'll mention
(though I've brought it up before) a distinction Eddie Muller
made in a Bouchercon panel on
"noir fiction" which Jack Bludis and I also participated in.
Eddie suggested that a an accurate definition of the term
depends on whether one is talking about "noir content" or
"noir atmospherics." According to this view both of the
"reduced to absolute basics" definitions offered by Jack and
I would be valid. Put simply, "noir content" equals
"screwed," while "noir atmospherics" equals "dark and
I'm not sure I accept Eddie's distinction, but it is a rather
satisfying way of resolving the disagreement.
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