RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir definition

From: crimeflix ( jmks100@aol.com)
Date: 23 Aug 2004

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, DJ-Anonyme@w... wrote:
> I'm with Mario on tough not describing many of the noir
protagonists. I
> doubt any of us doubts David Goodis's noir credentials, but few of
> characters could be thought of as tough by thought or action. Many
> just losers circling the bowl waiting for someone to flush. Think
> Street of No Return, in particular.
> Mark

Hi again,

I don't think "tough" is necessary for noir either and I think Goodis is the perfect example why. Another good example is Highsmith. Her standalone "heroes" in such noir novels as "This Sweet Sickness" and "Deep Water" are far from tough. Vicki Hendrick's great noir characters are tough in some ways, but very weak in others...Of course, there are many example of tough guy noir heroes in books by authors such as Cain, Williams, Willeford, Thompson, etc....In my books, my main chararcter in Fake I.D. is very tough, but Mickey Prada in Tough Luck isn't tough at all--hey, maybe there's some irony there! And I think both of these books qualify, to some extent, as noir...

Come to think of it, maybe there is "hardboiled noir" where characters are tough and the stories are noir. And maybe there's also plain old noir...

I think you can make a stronger case that tough is a characteristic more often found in hardboiled detective fiction.


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