Re: RARA-AVIS: Back into the definitional whirlpool

From: Marc Seals (
Date: 16 May 2004

Can any attempt at defining a complex concept _ever_ "get the job done"? Perhaps the debate itself _is_ the point, not the result of that debate.

Every posting that attempts to capture the elusive concepts of noir and hard boiled reminds me of that quote attributed to Mark Twain; Twain supposedly said that dissecting humor was like dissecting a frog--you can do it, but when you're done, both the joke and the frog are dead.

As far as my concept of noir and hard boiled goes-- Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said (speaking in 1964 of pornography, not detective fiction), "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material, but I know it when I see it."


# Plain ASCII text only, please.  Anything else won't show up.
# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 16 May 2004 EDT