Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Humor and irony in noir

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 21 Oct 2004

Mr. T,

I could not, respectfully, disagree more. I think there is a black humor element involved in the best of noir that makes it truly human.

I don't even agree with your definition of "true humor." I think Mel Brooks defined the nature of comedy best when he said (and I'm sure I'm paraphrasing): "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when YOU fall down an open manhole and die."

I'm not sure if that notion is "redeeming" or "healthy". But it is funny and, is most cases, accurate.


-----Original Message----- From: Jacques Debierue <> Sent: Oct 21, 2004 2:07 PM To: Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Humor and irony in noir

True humor (which is indeed redeeming, that is, healthy) is incompatible with true noir. If the situation of the doomed noir protagonist is made humorous, the reader may not believe in it. Lose the accepted doom and noir can easily become ridiculous. Somehow Willeford managed to mix the two, but he's the exception. I would not say that humor has been an element of noir from the beginning. Quite the contrary.



RARA-AVIS home page:
  Yahoo! Groups Links


------------------------ 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 : 21 Oct 2004 EDT