RARA-AVIS: Russell James on noir

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 12 Oct 2004

The mention of Russell James reminded me of something I wrote down at Bouchercon. Someone on the panel about "new noir"--perhaps Victor Gischler--gave James's definition of noir: "a desperate protagonist struggling in vain against the fates." Does anyone have the exact quote, or a source? It's good.

Aha, never mind, I think I found it:

| Noir fiction is doom-laden and pessimistic. It may have humour, it will
| have action, but at the tale's black heart will be a character trapped
| in a situation from which there seems to be no escape. Some purists
| would go so far as to say there must be no escape. The plight of a
| desperate man (it usually is a man) fighting in vain against the fates
| marks out noir fiction and gives it its savour.

Source: "So You Want to Write Noir?" by Russell James on Mr. Guthrie's NOIR ORIGINALS:



William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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