From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 19 Feb 2003

Charlie Williams wrote:

I know what noir is for me.

********** I'm pretty much a newbie with both noir and hardboiled, so I'm in the process of coming up with definitions that works for me. Some important things have come out of this thread for me which has shifted my definition. Everything below is about noir fiction.

Although I know that the separation between noir content and noir atmosphere has been raised before, I didn't pay much attention to it then. It hit home this time. Like I had suspected for some time, noir content requires an ending with the protagonist either dead or in dire straits. I agree with Al's comment that the
"screwed" aspect has to involve attitude. If the characters simply don't give a damn, it's not noir. You gotta see em sweat. The other thing I see, which I have also always suspected, is that the restriction to an origin in early twentieth century American crime literature is fairly arbitrary. I am also pretty well convinced that American naturalism is noir's daddy, and that Gothic is noir's granddaddy.

I really appreciate everybody taking the time to enter into the discussion. I think that some people feel that "The" semi-annual noir discussion is just the same old thing over and over, but I don't buy that. Each time it comes up there are different nuances that are explored to different depths and degrees. I find it 100% enlightening.

Thanks again, miker


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