RARA-AVIS: Bastard child

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 24 Feb 2004

Mario Taboada wrote: On the other hand, if we broaden the search, noir is just a type of story and hardboiled is a type of character and they are found everywhere...
  Anyone want to put of new definitions?

******************* I have been toying with the idea that without a contrived definition restricting noir to the 30s and beyond, the term is so generic as to be worthless. This is my problem with the famous Doherty definition as "dark and sinister." It simply lets too many cats in the door. Using this definition, Hamlet is noir. So is everything from the Gothic tradition.

Tightening the scope in an admittedly contrived manner, noir is the bastard child born of American Naturalism and fathered by the hardboiled school. In it's inception it featured a doomed criminal. LITTLE CAESAR, SANCTUARY, and SCARFACE laid the foundation, and Cain's THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE is the cornerstone.


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