RARA-AVIS: Re: Definitions

From: Jacques Debierue ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 23 Aug 2004

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick J Lambe"
<patlambe@p...> wrote:
> I read my favorite definition of Noir vs Hard Boiled in an

> "hard-boiled is about tough guys who win, and noir is about
> guys who lose."

This does not suffice to cover a lot of noir classics. Willeford's Figueras was not tough: he was obsessed and he slowly went crazy. The same goes for the protagonist of Harrington's Dark Ride, and for all the protagonists of Jason Starr's novels. In fact, it seems that most noir protagonists are *not* tough. They are guys waiting (or asking) for something terrible to happen to them.

On the other hand, a lot of tough guys in hardboiled novels don't win. Lew Archer is a good example: he rarely solves anything. In fact, things are often much worse after his intervention. The hardboiled tough guys can lose, though they are not defeated morally, they don't implode. Instead, they just suffer for a while with the help of the bottle conveniently kept in the lower left-hand drawer of their battered desks in shabby office buildings otherwise occupied by dubious dentists, failed philatelists and various hopeful scammers.



------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Make a clean sweep of pop-up ads. Yahoo! Companion Toolbar. Now with Pop-Up Blocker. Get it for free! http://us.click.yahoo.com/L5YrjA/eSIIAA/yQLSAA/kqIolB/TM

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Aug 2004 EDT