RARA-AVIS: "Homme Fatal / Femme Fatale" Again

From: chrisaschneider@earthlink.net
Date: 12 Aug 2003

-------Original Message------- From: cs_will@btopenworld.com Sent: 08/12/03 02:09 AM To: rara-avis@icomm.ca Subject: Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: "An Equivalent of the Femme Fatal"?
> Not so very noir, but James M. Cain's 'Serenade' (***SPOILER***) pivots on the reappearance of a male character who has in the past been the protagonist's perceived sexual downfall. As I recall it the novel is about a man building himself up again from some strange unmanned state (for which no explanation is at first given) with the aid of a Mexican prostitute, then once again facing his 'homme fatal'. It's a good, crazy novel, and must have been pretty near-the-knuckle in the 1930's.

Charlie Williams.


Ah, yes. The book about the man who had lost "the toro in his voice," One might almost, in the diction of Warners cartoons, retitle it "Tenors in Wackyland" ...
A fascinating, deeply silly book. --
What I was going to offer, though, was two more "homme fatal" examples -- at least as guessed at by these novels' film adaptations.
Bruno Antony in "Strangers on a Train"
(This is largely as a result of the troubled look Ruth Roman casts at Granger and Walker in the museum.)
Steve, the blackmailing boyfriend, in Woolrich's "I Married A Dead Man."
(This is based, largely, on Lyle Bettger's performance in the "No Man of Her Own" film version. One might remark, too, on "No Man of Her Own" being an unusual *noir* example of queer director, i.e. Mitchell Leisen, directing material by a queer author.) --
The literary closet being what it is, perhaps one should create a special category for tales by queer authors where central female characters fall prey to nefarious (if desirable) males?


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