Re: RARA-AVIS: Bastard child

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 24 Feb 2004

Jim wrote:

""Noir" dates from roughly the mid- 20th Century for the simple reason that the term was coined, by Gallimard's mystery editor, Marcel Duhamel, to describe a type of crime fiction that was conceived, gestated, and was born during that time. . . . In other words, when the word was coined to describe a particular kind of crime fiction, . . ."

Ah, the creationist version of words. They come into being and forever remain the same.

Personally, I believe in evolution, where genres can change, even mutate, and their labels can find room for the offspring. And wait a minute, if we are stuck with Duhamel's definition -- you point out it was just a pun employed as a broad marketing term, covering his mystery line, not all "dark and sinister" -- doesn't that render your definition as much a later reinterpretation as that of those who find a
"deep, existential meaning" at the core of the literature?


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