Re: RARA-AVIS: Cozy vs. Noir -- Tension?

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 14 Oct 2004

At 05:26 PM 13/10/2004 -0700, you wrote:

>Some cozy and noir writers are drifting slowly to
>a middle ground where there is a bit of this and
>a bit of that, which is why I attend the Malice
>A cozy can touch on social issues, a hardboiled
>novel can present a puzzle.

Altman's Gosford Park sums up nicely the difference between cosy and noir, I think, and points to the antagonism between fans. The first investigator, Inspector Thompson, played by Stephen Fry, is cosy. His investigation is a comedy of social manners. The second investigator, Constable Dexter, played by Ron Webster is noir. His investigation is a study of social power.

Altman's picture defined the end of an era: the decline of the British class system. Christie, Sayers et al had their time and we can admire them, as Jason Starr does, for their writing and plotting skills, and perhaps even for depictions of the socially constricted lives at the time. But attempts to update cosies into modern America are laughably nostalgic at best, and undemocratic at worst.

The antagonism between cosy and noir fans is class warfare.

Kerry, who is armed and dangerous, at least in his own imagination.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 14 Oct 2004 EDT