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

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 22 Oct 2004

At 10:07 PM 21/10/2004 +0000, you wrote:

>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.

How about all those Chandlerian metaphores?

"She was the type of girl to make a bishop kick out a stained glass window."

True, we're usually talking what is called "black" humour here, fittingly enough. (How about a debate defining black humour?)

Humour that redeems, or at least is written with that purpose, might better be called satire. Noir tends more toward the comic. Banana peel stuff, but often self depricating. You know, we send all these e-mails talking about this stuff as if it makes any difference; as if we weren't all going to die anyway. That kind of humour.

Kerry, who's trying not to go first.

------------------------------------------------------ Literary events Calendar (South Ont.) The evil men do lives after them

------------------------ 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 : 22 Oct 2004 EDT