RARA-AVIS: Noir=dark and sinister atmosphere

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 15 Dec 2003

In a message dated 12/15/03 10:00:19 PM Eastern Standard Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

 "Noir's" atmosphere. That's all it is. All that
 other stuff, the pessimism, the nihilism, the
 fatalism, and the defeatism, might be important
 movements within crime fiction but they're not the sum
 total of "noir." There's too many other things that
 ARE "noir," but aren't that, for that to be what
 defines noir. But what it all has in common is a dark
 and sinister atmosphere, so it follows that the
 atmospheric elements are also the defining elements.

I think I understand it now. Thanks, Jim, for getting that sorted. Now I have to figure out where I would rank Wilkie Collins' THE MOONSTONE among great noir novels. It's a fine novel with dark and sinister atmosphere dripping from every page. Tentatively, I would put it above Mickey Spillane's ONE LONELY NIGHT but I would appreciate your thoughts.

Richard Moore

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