Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler's "Noir Feel" for LA (was Denise Hamilton)

From: Jim Beaver (
Date: 13 May 2004

Jim Doherty wrote:>
> Presuming that you agree with my notion that "noir"
> means a "dark, sinister atmosphere,"

Not intending to crank up an argument, I'm curious, Jim. I recently reread an old short story by Manly Wade Wellman set in the 1800s. A sea captain of a slave ship, in order to avoid being caught with contraband slaves on board by a British man-of-war, orders the slaves shacked to the anchor chain. He drops anchor and the slaves go overboard with it. No more evidence. Years later, back in the Carolinas in his home, he is visited by the monstrous fish-eaten ghostly carcasses of the slaves he sent overboard, who surround his home and drive him mad.

It's possibly the darkest, most sinister atmosphere of anything I've ever read.

Does that make it noir?

Jim Beaver

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