Re: RARA-AVIS: Russell James on noir

From: Bill Crider (
Date: 13 Oct 2004

| 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.

I keep going back to literary naturalism when I read these definitions of noir. Think of McTeague at the end of the novel by the same name. Now there's a guy who's fought against the fates (or his heredity and environment) and who's now totally screwed.

Or how about Clyde Griffiths in AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY? That book is the template for a lot of noir fiction, it seems to me.

Bill Crider

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~-->
$9.95 domain names from Yahoo!. Register anything.

RARA-AVIS home page:
  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 : 13 Oct 2004 EDT