Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Politics, schmolitics...

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 15 Jul 2003

Everything in a society is politics and politics is everywhere… especially in the HB/Noir lit. Because of its constant fight against corrupted power, distorted justice, death and murder admitted as a daily fact, the best of this lit is politics by essence. It often carries the implicit denial of the auto-justification of power
(under any form) by its existence ( which for the holders is something that should be admitted as a natural law, that nobody could contest, against which nobody could be allowed to fight); this stand is pure politics. No matter if power is just the cop controlling a neighborhood, the administration of a city or even a state, a corporate violating elementary rights of the persons, the cynical rich people, or a cold blood killer … you will find them all, and more, as "the evil opponent" in HB/Noir stories.

And I agree with Juri : the opposite kind of vision of the world, like in the cosies and pure whodunits, is a firm political stand of… conservatism. Murder therein is the disturbing element that a "hero" has to solve in order to restore the "balance" of the society. Nobody wants to change something in the society nor in its organization with this kind of lit… Even if the murder is only like a game in some of them, it's still politics, because these games freeze their cardboard society in prejudices and ready-made ideas, and never question its order.

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries and more

At 11:03 15-07-03 +0300, you wrote:
>Kevin (hi Kevin!):
>> Cozies and
>> amateur sleuth mysteries (particularly those labelled as
>> "traditional") tend to closed worlds, and spy fiction and thrillers
>> too often reduce politics to the cartoon level.
>Those are also political stands. It's extremely political to try to shut out
>all the politics. And in the end, in spy stories and cozies, we have an
>amazing amount of sexual and textual politics to be dealt with.
>> So, some of my favourite "political" crime authors, just off the top
>> of my head:
>Great list - but no Dashiell Hammett! "Red Harvest" and "The Glass Key" are
>surely political.

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